(a) An attorney who contracts to represent a client on a contingency fee basis shall, at the time the contract is entered into, provide a duplicate copy of the contract, signed by both the attorney and the client, or the client’s guardian or representative, to the plaintiff, or to the client’s guardian or representative. The contract shall be in writing and shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) A statement of the contingency fee rate that the client and attorney have agreed upon.
(2) A statement as to how disbursements and costs incurred in connection with the prosecution or settlement of the claim will affect the contingency fee and the client’s recovery.
(3) A statement as to what extent, if any, the client could be required to pay any compensation to the attorney for related matters that arise out of their relationship not covered by their contingency fee contract. This may include any amounts collected for the plaintiff by the attorney.
(4) Unless the claim is subject to the provisions of Section 6146, a statement that the fee is not set by law but is negotiable between attorney and client.
(5) If the claim is subject to the provisions of Section 6146, a statement that the rates set forth in that section are the maximum limits for the contingency fee agreement, and that the attorney and client may negotiate a lower rate.
(b) Failure to comply with any provision of this section renders the agreement voidable at the option of the plaintiff, and the attorney shall thereupon be entitled to collect a reasonable fee.
(c) This section shall not apply to contingency fee contracts for the recovery of workers’ compensation benefits.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2000.
(Amended (as amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 479, Sec. 3) by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1104, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 1997. Section operative January 1, 2000, by its own provisions.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018