Have appellate attorneys been known to provide services on a contingency basis?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Have appellate attorneys been known to provide services on a contingency basis?

If so, where do I begin my search for such an attorney?

Asked on November 16, 2015 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Very few appellate attorneys will work on contingency:
1) Appeals are far from certain, because appellate courts, more often than not, will not overturn the ruling of the court below. As a result, there is a less than 50-50 chance of winning (and getting paid).
2) Even if the appeal "wins," many successful appeals do not result in the appellant winning the case--instead, the appellate court will often "remand" the case, or send it back for a new trial or hearing with certain errors or mistakes corrected. Therefore, even if the appellate attorney wins his/her appeal, that may not be the end of it; instead, the case may be retried, and so there's still a chance for the case to lose and the attorney to not be paid.
Therefore, because there is a significant chance of not winning and being paid, most appellate attorneys will not take cases on contingency.

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