Cases Dealing With Attorney Contingency Fee Contract In Texas
Attorney contingency fee contracts serve two main purposes:
First, they allow plaintiffs who cannot afford to pay a lawyer up-front to pay the lawyer out of any recovery. Second, such contracts, because they offer the potential of a greater fee than might be earned under an hourly billing method, compensate the attorney for the risk that the attorney will receive no fee whatsoever if the case is lost. Arthur Andersen & Co. v. Perry Equip. Corp., 945 S.W.2d 812, 818 (Tex. 1997).
Under contingency fee contracts, the lawyer, in effect, lends the value of legal services that are secured by a share in the client's potential recovery. Id.
Under some contingency fee contracts, the attorney also agrees to advance the out-of-pocket costs of the litigation; in such cases, the attorney not only risks loss of the fee, but also risks loss of actual expenditures. Id.
The usual rules of contract law are applicable to contingent attorneys' fee contracts. Stern, 846 S.W.2d at 944; Howell v. Kelly, 534 S.W.2d 737, 739 (Tex. Civ. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1976, no writ).
Courts generally will not redraft the terms of a contract. Bailey, Vaught, Robertson & Co. v. Remington Invs., Inc., 888 S.W.2d 860, 865 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1994, no writ); Thomas, 861 S.W.2d at 62; Stern, 846 S.W.2d at 944; Berman v. Rife, 644 S.W.2d 574, 576 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 1982, writ ref'd n.r.e.); Parker, 197 S.W.2d at 849.