New York, NY, December 18, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- New York attorney Michael Johnson has given the legal profession a very strong signal the days of contingent fee (commonly referred to as “no win no fee”) lawsuits may be coming to an end.
“We are seeing growing resistance in the judiciary to ‘no win no fee’ lawsuits because judges believe they encourage spurious and exaggerated claims,” said Mr. Johnson. “You could say the legal profession is a victim of its own success because now nearly everyone knows there is a zero risk way to try and get compensated for a perceived wrong. The lack of financial risk can encourage people to seek compensation they don’t really deserve and this wastes expensive law resources.”
Johnson believes courts and attorneys face a major challenge in finding a solution that continues to ensure justice for all members of society.
“If we set the bar too high for people seeking justice it’s inevitable many of the poorer members of society will no longer have access to legal representation,” Johnson pointed out. “On the other hand, the system cannot continue as it is, so rules governing contingent fee cases must change.”
A partial solution proposed by Michael Johnson is that plaintiffs are charged a registration fee in advance for contingent fee lawsuits, even though this could be viewed as a contradiction in terms. From January 1, 2014, The Law Office of Michael Johnson plans to charge a registration fee of $325 for contingent fee class action lawsuits. The fee has been calculated based on one week’s typical earnings for those working at New York minimum wage levels.
“People on low incomes are not going to risk the equivalent of a week’s wages unless they genuinely feel they can prove they have a grievance and deserve compensation,” claimed Johnson. “This charge weeds out a lot of the dubious cases and allows the courts to devote more resources to providing justice.”
The Law Office of Michael Johnson is taking a risk by pioneering this approach, but Johnson feels the longer term benefits will outweigh any short term drop in business. His approach is that once his law office gains a reputation for filing suits by sincere and committed plaintiffs, courts will be more favorably disposed towards their cases.
“Justice may be blind, but the people who dispense it are not,” quipped Johnson. “There is no getting around the fact that all of us in the legal profession get a reputation, and if ours is one of filing only lawsuits with merit the courts are going to be much more positive towards us. Ultimately, this can only help our clients in their quest for justice. I believe we are setting a trend that will become standard practice within a few years. The end of the ‘no win no fee’ suit is nigh.”