Mr. Johnson provides legal services on an hourly basis and under a variety of alternative fee arrangements.
An alternative fee arrangement (“AFA”), in the practice of law occurs when the attorney’s compensation is based on a method other than billable hours. Clients often look for a combination of cost savings, cost certainty, and alignment of law firm interests with their interests.
Flat fee, where the firm handles a single case (or part of a case) for an agreed upon, flat amount.
Contingency fee arrangements, where the firm obtains its fee as a percentage of the money won at trial or in settlement. This arrangement is tied to performance and the client pays no fees unless the legal action is successful.
Policyholder (insured) coverage contingency, the coverage attorney’s fee is based on a negotiated fee percentage applied to the amount won at trial or in settlement. Coverage counsel enters into an agreement with the claimant’s existing counsel to share a part of the fee. If the claimant does not prevail, coverage counsel receives nothing.
Blended contingency arrangement, incorporates a below-average hourly fee (or flat fee) and a below-average contingency fee.
INSURANCE COVERAGE: NEUTRAL COVERAGE EVALUATIONS:
Mr. Johnson has also been retained to provide neutral coverage evaluations. This is a form of non-binding, alternate dispute resolution where disputing parties agree to submit their coverage positions to a subject expert in writing to evaluate whether coverage exists for a given situation. The evaluator is, typically, a disinterested party with a high level of expertise in the form of coverage under dispute. A neutral coverage evaluation can be of great benefit where the outcome of the case hinges on insurance coverage (e.g., the damages are fixed, the damages exceed the policy limits, an insured has entered into a Miller-Shugart type settlement, the parties otherwise have a good sense of the damages, etc.). The evaluation can be presented in any number of forms, depending only on the creativity of the parties. Mr. Johnson may, for example, be retained to: (1) provide both parties a written assessment of the coverage issues similar to a trial court or appellate decision, (2) provide to each party a confidential written assessment of the likelihood that the party will prevail on the coverage issues; or (3) conduct a conference where the assessment is discussed orally with each party or both parties. Depending on the complexity of the case, the evaluation can often be provided on a flat-fee basis so the parties know exactly how much the process will cost.