Davis, Bengtson & Young FAQ

We've compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions. If your issue has not been addressed below, please contact us for further information.

What is involved in an initial consultation?

Before we formally begin representing you, it's important to have an initial consultation-an introductory meeting where we assess your case and go over the main issues. During this initial consultation, we'll also take a preliminary look at any relevant information (paperwork, records, etc.) and discuss terms.

At the end of the consultation, we'll either accept representation and become your lawyers or refer you to another trusted, local attorney who may be better suited to your needs.

What is your fee structure?

Our firm offers competitive pricing that can be tailored on a case by case basis. We utilize several common types of fee arrangements, from contingency fee, flat rate, to an hourly rate. Click on any arrangement to learn more.

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Contingency Fee

A contingency fee depends upon the successful outcome of the plaintiff's claim. That is, you only pay our fee if there is a recovery in your case. Contingency fee agreements benefit injured clients who often cannot afford to pay an attorney until the case has been settled.

Contingency fees are open to negotiation between the attorney and client; however, in certain types of cases (claims on behalf of children, claims against health care providers, claims against the Federal Government, etc.) maximum fee limits are established by statute. Contingency fee agreements must be in writing and signed by both the attorney and the client. We'll discuss the terms of this agreement during the initial consultation.

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Flat Rate

For some services, the time necessary to complete a project is predictable. In cases where the cost can be assessed accurately at the outset, a flat fee may be preferable. As with all fee arrangements, a flat fee is agreed upon at the outset. Depending on the project and the amount of the flat fee, some or all of the fee may be due prior to the commencement of work.

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Hourly Rate

This is the traditional fee arrangement, and the one that is applies routinely to our defendant clients' cases. In those cases, the lawyer bills on an hourly basis with a minimum billing increment for any work performed. Many litigation matters are billed on an hourly basis. Costs incurred during the course of performing work are billed in addition to the hourly rate. Hourly rates will be discussed and agreed upon at the outset.

What is your process of working with a client?

A Davis, Bengtson & Young attorney approaches each case with a client-centered philosophy. That means that you'll be well informed at all stages of the litigation. We've found that clear communication is the cornerstone of effective representation. Our lawyers make sure that you are part of the process each step of the way.

I already have an attorney, but I'm dissatisfied. How do I go about hiring a different lawyer?

You have the right to discharge your attorney at any time. You will typically be responsible costs incurred and for reasonable fees owed at the time of discharge. If litigation has already begun, you will be required to prepare and file a "substitution of attorney" form, indicating that the attorney is being replaced either by another attorney or by the client in pro per (when the client opts to represent him or herself). This form must be signed by both the client and the current attorney and then filed with the court.

What is Mediation?

Mediation allows you to settle disputes without going to court.

This process is facilitated by a neutral party- the mediator- who assists the parties in exploring the issues in the case. The mediator does not make any decisions or rulings regarding the case, but attempts to guide the parties toward a settlement of the case.

Is Mediation confidential?

Yes, mediation is confidential. A court reporter is not present and there is no record kept of what is said at the mediation. In fact, everything which is discussed or prepared for the mediation cannot be used by any party outside of the mediation process, or in any portion of the litigation or trial.

The purpose of confidentiality is to provide a safe and respectful setting in which the parties and attorneys can discuss the facts and issues openly, without fear that what is said may be used against them outside of the mediation. This allows for a candid discussion of the issues involved and typically increases the chances of reaching a settlement.

Our goal is to work with the parties involved to hopefully reach a satisfactory resolution. Our objective is to resolve a dispute in a professional, respectful manner in the shortest time possible so as to minimize the costs involved.

How will your mediators approach my case?

Some mediators use an evaluative approach and some use a facilitative approach. We find that the best results are achieved by employing both. It's not so much a question of which approach is best, but when each should be used. An opinion offered too early in the mediation is less likely to be accepted and may result in the early termination of negotiations. Likewise, efforts to facilitate an agreement without commenting on a party's clearly unreasonable or unrealistic expectations has little chance of success. Different types of disputes call for different styles and both styles may be necessary in the same mediation in order to keep negotiations moving forward.

Our mediators evaluate the issues presented and offer opinions of what the parties should do to settle the case. We also facilitate discussion and encourage the parties to come to their own conclusion as to how the case should be settled. We encourage the parties to put the settlement terms into writing before leaving the mediation to eliminate disputes regarding the terms and to protect the interests of all of the parties.

Why Choose Davis, Bengtson & Young for its Mediation Services?

We have a proven a track record of getting cases settled successfully. Our mediation process and legal expertise ensure that the parties have a realistic view of the probable outcome of their case. Our negotiation skills keep the parties talking. While not every dispute is destined for settlement, we will always "go the extra mile" to reach settlement every time.