Clearwater, FL asked in Legal Malpractice for California

Q: Can I deduct my litigatiocosts from the settlement I receive even if the costs where incurred under a different attorney

I had two attorneys on a contingency fee. I paid all litigation costs out of my pocket as they arose. No attorney has a claim against me. The case took place in CA.


My first attorney had to quit due to his health issues. My second attorney tells me that the costs I incurred under the first attorney like the filing fee and costs that I also would have had if I had gone to him first ( like translation, subpoena) cannot be deducted since they were incurred prior to him taking over.

I want to deduct the costs incurred under the first attorney (like the filing fee)

Can the costs I had under the first attorney be deducted and added to the costs that are being deducted from the settlement ?

No other category for posting this is a dispute over the deduction of the costs of litigation not a fee dispute


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1 Lawyer Answer
William John Light
William John Light
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your post was directed to California forum, although the post indicates that you are in Florida. You may wish to consult Florida attorneys. In general, your retainer agreement with the new attorney governs. If the attorneys fees is to be calculated on the gross recovery, then your costs don't matter. If the attorney fees are to be calculated on the recovery after subtraction of costs, then do that. If you and your attorney cannot agree how the fee agreement is to be applied, you might be able to submit your fee dispute to the State Bar for resolution.

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