Personal Injury Fee Schedule
In Louisiana, a lawyer may work on a contingency fee (no recovery, no fee) and may advance cost of litigation. The Louisiana Supreme Court carefully regulates rules concerning contingency fee agreements. Additionally, the ethical rules ( Rule 1.8(e)) provides regulations for the advancement of costs to bring a case to trial and the advancement of financial assistance to clients. The rule states that advancements are limited to:
(1) A lawyer may advance court costs and expenses of litigation, the repayment of which may be contingent on the outcome of the matter, provided that the expenses were reasonably incurred. Court costs and expenses of litigation include, but are not necessarily limited to, filing fees; deposition costs; expert witness fees; transcript costs; witness fees; copy costs; photographic, electronic, or digital evidence production; investigation fees; related travel expenses; litigation related medical expenses; and any other case specific expenses directly related to the representation undertaken, including those set out in Rule 1.8(e)(3).
(2) A lawyer representing an indigent client may pay court costs and expenses of litigation on behalf of the client.
(3) In addition to costs of court and expenses of litigation, a lawyer may provide financial assistance to a client who is in necessitous circumstances, subject however to the following restrictions.
(i) Upon reasonable inquiry, the lawyer must determine that the client’s necessitous circumstances, without minimal financial assistance, would adversely affect the client’s ability to initiate and/or maintain the cause for which the lawyer’s services were engaged.
(ii) The advance or loan guarantee, or the offer thereof, shall not be used as an inducement by the lawyer, or anyone acting on the lawyer’s behalf, to secure employment.
(iii) Neither the lawyer nor anyone acting on the lawyer’s behalf may offer to make advances or loan guarantees prior to being hired by a client, and the lawyer shall not publicize nor advertise a willingness to make advances or loan guarantees to clients.
(iv) Financial assistance under this rule may provide but shall not exceed that minimum sum necessary to meet the client’s, the client’s spouse’s, and/or dependents’ documented obligations for food, shelter, utilities, insurance, non-litigation related medical care and treatment, transportation expenses, education, or other documented expenses necessary for subsistence.