“Contingency Fee? When Hourly Fees Run too High in a Criminal Case”
The disciplinary rules are unambiguous: both ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct and New York Rule 1.5(d) flatly prohibit a lawyer from charging a contingency fee in a criminal case. Yet a contingent fee is perfectly acceptable in a tort case; a class action lawsuit; a real estate squabble; defense of a civil suit; a hostile takeover; and just about everything else (except a matrimonial action).
This article explores the rationale behind the prohibition of contingency fees in criminal cases, and suggests that perhaps the time has come for a change.