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What does this mean? Glossary



This glossary is included for the benefit of the readers of EagleFee.com. This is necessary for two reasons. First,  some of the terms found on the site may be unfamiliar to visitors.  Second, since many terms are used in a site-specific manner,  with no attempt being made to incorporate alternative definitions, this glossary may help clarify the content.



CONTINGENT FEE – A fee charged by a lawyer to represent a claimant in a legal case. Contingent fees are measured as a percentage of any recovery or award and are paid only if a claim is concluded successfully.


FEE SPLITTING – The practice through which a Trial Lawyer and a Referring Lawyer split a contingent fee at the successful conclusion of a case.


FREE (or OPEN) MARKET  – Used here to mean an online system that allows direct marketing of claims to the widest possible audience.  As opposed to subscription or referral services, EagleFee does not restrict case review to lawyers who have prepaid for the opportunity.


JURISDICTION – The location, or legal district, where a claim is brought or litigation occurs.


LITIGATION – The formal process through which claims are resolved through the courts. Litigation generally begins with the filing of a complaint outlining the claims being brought by a plaintiff against a defendant(s). Litigation includes the discovery process in which the parties to the litigation attempt to learn about the other side’s accusations or defenses. If a case does not end before trial through a court order or with a settlement the litigation process includes the trial itself and any post-trial proceedings and appeals.


MERIT-BASED CONTINGENT FEE – A percentage legal fee established in a free market and based on the individual characteristics of a specific claim.


STANDARD CONTINGENT FEE – The typical percentage fee charged in a specific jurisdiction. Historically, lawyers representing clients on a contingent fee were paid one- third of any monies recovered on the claim. The one-third fee is still widely used though standard fees now typically range from 25 – 40%.


REFERRAL (or FORWARDING) FEE – That portion of a contingent fee paid to a referring lawyer for sending a claim to a trial lawyer. Referral fees are often one-third of the contingent fee.


REFERRING (or FORWARDING)  LAWYER – A lawyer who introduces a claimant to a trial lawyer in return for a fee.


TELEVISION LAWYER – A lawyer who advertises extensively for accident claims and who represents claimants but who does not participate in the litigation process.  Television lawyers typically devote substantial resources to getting claimants to hire them (often through television advertising) and to settling claims before litigation.  When a television lawyer can’t settle a case he refers the case to a Trial lawyer.


TORT – A civil (as opposed to a criminal) offense, or wrong,  committed against a person or property.  Torts can occur between individuals or entities and are resolved through settlement or litigation.


TRIAL LAWYER – A lawyer willing to, and capable of,  representing a claimant or defendant through the litigation process including, if necessary, at trial.