Contract between Shamis & Gentile, P.A., Edelsberg Law; and Client
Shamis & Gentile, P.A. and Edelsberg Law (“We,” “Our,” “Us”, and “The Firm”) agree to represent You (“You,” “Your,” and “Client”) in certain legal matters and related claims that we have discussed with you. We will handle these matters, explain your rights, keep you updated, and advise you of your legal options and obligations.
(1) SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION
You are hiring Us to represent you in a matter against Samsung for your alleged privacy violations. By entering into this agreement, you have indicated that you believe your personal information may have been compromised by this data breach. You are authorizing us to make an initial demand on your case and to associate with anyone we deem necessary. If a lawsuit is filed or if arbitration is initiated by us in your name, we will represent you until settlement is reached or judgment is rendered, except as outlined in the section below entitled “Discharge And Withdrawal.” However, in the event we discover or have grounds to believe that your personal information was not or likely not compromised by this data breach, you agree that we may terminate representation.
We will also oppose any motion for a new trial or any other post-judgment motions filed by an opposing party, and we will make any appropriate post-judgment motions on your behalf. However, we will not represent you on any appeal, out of state proceeding, or in any proceeding to execute on any judgment, unless we agree to do so in a separate written contract, which may include you paying fees and costs to us. Services in any matter not described above will require a separate written contract.
(2) LIMITATION OF REPRESENTATION
We are representing you on the matter(s) described above, in the section entitled “Scope Of Representation.” Our representation does not include independent or related matters that may arise, including, among other things, claims for property damage, workers’ compensation, disputes with a health care provider about the amount owed for their services, claims for reimbursement (subrogation) by an insurance company for benefits paid under an insurance policy, or defendant’s claims for any underlying debt. This contract does not apply to any other legal matters. If any such matters arise later, we will either negotiate a separate contract with you, if we all agree that we will perform such additional legal work, or you will engage separate counsel with respect to the cross-claim, counter-claim, or additional legal work.
(3) ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND COSTS
You understand that we will be paid a portion of any final recovery, and that the amount of this contingency fee is not set by law and is negotiable at the time of signing. Cash payments, credit monitoring, debt relief, or any other tangible or intangible economic benefit to you will be added to the calculation of any total recovery in your case.
If we recover and collect funds for you in a lump sum, and your claim includes actual damages and attorneys’ fees, or if costs are not distinguished, at trial, through settlement, or by any other method, and you recover compensation for actual damages, or attorney fees, you will receive (i) 66.7% of the entire recovery minus any unpaid costs described in the section below entitled "Costs and Litigation Expenses", if the case is resolved before defendants file an answer to the complaint or demand appointment of arbitrators; OR (ii) 60% if recovery occurs after defendants file an answer to the complaint or demand appointment of arbitrators. As an example only, if you recovered a lump sum amount and a portion of that was to compensate you for actual damages and attorney fees, and you settled for $1,000 as an entire award, which would include a portion for our attorney fees, we would receive $400.00 of this settlement plus and any unpaid costs described in the section below entitled "Costs and Litigation Expenses," and you would receive $600.00 of this settlement minus any unpaid costs, if the case had been answered by the defendants or demand appointment of arbitrators.
In the alternative, it is possible that the other side may stipulate, or may be ordered by the court or arbitrator, to pay our attorney’s fees independent of an award or settlement for damages. It is also possible that your award or settlement for liability will include only statutory damages and the award or settlement for liability will exceed the statutory damages maximum, thereby dictating that the amount exceeding the statutory maximum in damages is attorney fees. In either case, by law, the attorney fees portion cannot be shared with you, and that portion of the recovery must be paid only to us. You agree that any and all attorneys’ fees and costs awarded by a court, or stipulated to by the parties, are ours and ours alone. If, for any reason, you waive any attorneys’ fees or costs without our express written permission, you agree to pay us any attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by us in this matter.
Sanctions awards are not part of recovery: Monetary sanctions awarded to The Firm during the course of this litigation shall not be considered part of Client's recovery in this action. Such sanctions shall be deemed compensation to counsel for extraordinary time and effort expended as a result of an opposing party's bad faith conduct or failure to comply with discovery demands, court orders or similar obligations.
(4) CO-COUNSELING & ASSOCIATE COUNSEL ARRANGEMENT
You are hiring the law firm(s) specified in the first paragraph of this agreement. You also approve the association of Edelsberg Law, P.A and Shamis & Gentile, P.A as associate counsel and agree that the attorneys’ fees discussed above will include fees paid to associate counsel, which fees will be divided between the firms based upon the contributions, work performed, referral relationship, and value added by each firm. The fee charged in this case will be divided equally between: Edelsberg Law, P.A and Shamis & Gentile, P.A. You are consenting to the representation by these law firms and this distribution of fees. The amount charged and/or the percent contingency paid by you is not being increased due to this arrangement.
(5) COSTS AND LITIGATION EXPENSES
We will incur various costs, disbursements, and litigation expenses in performing legal services under this contract. Costs, disbursements, and litigation expenses do not include attorney fees.
You agree to pay any costs, disbursements, and litigation expenses in connection with this matter from your award or settlement. In the event there is no recovery, you will not be liable for our attorney fees or any costs, disbursements, or litigation expenses.
Costs, disbursements and litigation expenses may include court fees, jury fees, service of process charges, court reporters’ fees, videographer fees, photocopying and reproduction costs, notary fees, messenger and other delivery fees, postage, deposition costs, travel costs, including parking, meals and hotel costs, investigation expenses, consultant costs and fees, expert witness costs and fees, professional mediator costs and fees, arbitrator and/or special master fees and other similar items.
To aid in the preparation or presentation of your case, it may become necessary to retain expert witnesses, consultants or investigators. We will select any expert witnesses, consultants or investigators to be retained. You authorize us to incur all reasonable costs and to retain any investigators, consultants, or expert witnesses, reasonably necessary, in our sole judgment.
We may obtain loans or lines of credit to advance costs and other expenses. Client acknowledges and agrees that in the event We obtain such loans or lines of credit to finance this matter, then the costs of borrowing the money (the interest paid to the bank along with any associated expenses) shall also be recoverable as a cost item.
(6) MULTIPLE REPRESENTATIONS
Client understands that we may represent other individuals with actual or potential claims related to the alleged Samsung privacy breach. Our representation of multiple claimants at the same time may create certain actual or potential conflicts of interests in that the interests and objectives of each client individually on certain issues may become inconsistent with the interests and objectives of the other. We have a professional responsibility to advise our clients of any actual or potential conflicts of interest and obtain their informed written consent to our representation when actual or potential conflicts of interest exist. By signing this agreement, Client acknowledges that they have been advised of the potential conflicts of interest which may be or are associated with our representation of Client and other claimants and the Client nevertheless wants us to represent Client, and that Client consents to our representation of others in connection with the Samsung privacy breach.
(7) DISCHARGE AND WITHDRAWAL
Notwithstanding any other provision in this agreement, you may discharge us at any time, upon written notice to us. We may withdraw from representation of you under the following circumstances: (a) with your consent, or (b) upon court approval, or (c) for good cause and upon reasonable notice to you, if no court action has been filed. Good cause includes your breach of this contract, your refusal to cooperate with us or to follow our advice on a material matter, or any other fact or circumstance that would render our continued representation unlawful, unethical, or impracticable.
Notwithstanding our withdrawal or your notice of discharge, and without regard to the reasons for the withdrawal or discharge, you will remain obligated to pay us for all costs incurred prior to the termination and, in the event that there is any recovery obtained by you after the conclusion of our services, you remain obligated to pay us for all services rendered by us from the effective date of this contract to the date of discharge.
In the event of our discharge or withdrawal, you agree that upon payment of settlement, arbitration award, or judgment in your favor in this matter, we shall be entitled to be paid by you a reasonable fee for the legal services provided. Such fee shall be determined by considering the following factors;
1. The actual number of hours expended by us in performing legal services for you;
2. Our hourly rate;
3. The extent to which our services have contributed to the results obtained
4. The amount of the fee in proportion to the value of the services performed;
5. The amount of recovery obtained
6. Time limitations imposed on us by you or by the circumstances; and
7. Our experience, reputation, and abilities
(8) CONCLUSION OF SERVICES
When our services conclude, any and all unpaid charges will immediately become due and payable. You authorize us to use any funds held in our rust account for you as a deposit against charges to apply to such unpaid charges.
You hereby grant us a lien on any and all claims or causes of action that are the subject of our representation under this contract. Our lien will be for any sums owing to us for any unpaid costs, and/or attorneys' fees, at the conclusion of our services, and will be paid only to us and are not calculated as part of the total recovery. The lien will attach to any recovery you may obtain, whether by arbitration award, judgment, settlement or otherwise, and before any other lien. The effect of such a lien is that we may be able to compel payment of fees and costs from any such funds recovered on behalf of you even if we have been discharged before the end of the case. Because a lien may affect your property rights, you may want to seek the advice of an independent lawyer of your own choice before agreeing to such a lien. By signing this contract, you represent and agree that you have had a reasonable opportunity to consult such an independent lawyer and — whether or not you have chosen to consult such an independent lawyer — you agree that we will have a lien as specified here.
(10) RECEIPT OF PROCEEDS
All proceeds of your case shall be deposited into our trust account for disbursement in accordance with the provisions of this contract and the rules of the State Bar of California.
You hereby grant us limited power of attorney to endorse any check made payable to you by an opposing party for the purpose of depositing said check into our trust account.
(11) DISCLAIMER OF GUARANTEE
Nothing in this contract, and nothing in our statements to you, will be construed as a promise or guarantee about the outcome of this matter. We make no such promises or guarantees. There can be no assurance that you will prevail in any lawsuit or recover any sum in this matter. Our comments about the outcome of this matter are expressions of opinion only. You acknowledge that we have made no promise or guarantees about the outcome of your case.
(12) ENTIRE AGREEMENT
This contract contains the entire understanding of the parties. No other agreement, statement or promise made on or before the effective date of this contract will be binding on the parties.
(13) MODIFICATION BY SUBSEQUENT AGREEMENT
This contract may be modified or amended by subsequent contract of the parties only by an instrument in writing, signed by all parties, or through an oral contract only to the extent that the parties carry it out.
(14) ATTORNEYS’ FEES TO ENFORCE THIS AGREEMENT
The prevailing party in any action or proceeding arising out of or to enforce any provision of this contract, with the exception of a fee arbitration or mediation under Business and Professions Code Sections 6200-6206, will be awarded reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in that action or proceeding, or in the enforcement of any judgment or award rendered.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, please inform Us prior to doing so. Filing for bankruptcy will negatively affect any case We file on your behalf.
(16) EFFECTIVE DATE
This Contract will govern all legal services performed by us on behalf of you commencing with the date we first performed those services. Client and The Firm have read and understood the foregoing terms and agree to them, as of the date The Firm, first provides services. If more than one client signs below, each agrees to be liable jointly and severally for all obligations under this agreement. All parties shall receive a fully executed duplicate of this agreement.
By signing below, you indicate you have read this entire contract, have been afforded the opportunity to have an independent attorney review it, and understand and agree to the terms.
(17) FILE RETENTION
After our services conclude, and upon your written request, your file and any personal property held by us, will be delivered to you or an attorney that you designate, whether or not you have paid any fees and/or costs that are owed to us. We will retain a copy of your file, either physically or electronically, for a period of seven years, after which any documents, electronic files, or physical property retained by us may be destroyed without notice to you, and will thereafter be unavailable.
CLIENT STATEMENT OF RIGHTS
Before you, the prospective client, arrange a contingent fee agreement with a lawyer, you should understand this statement of your rights as a client. This statement is not a part of the actual contract between you and your lawyer, but, as a prospective client, you should be aware of these rights:
1. There is no legal requirement that a lawyer charge a client a set fee or a percentage of money recovered in a case. You, the client, have the right to talk with your lawyer about the proposed fee and to bargain about the rate or percentage as in any other contract. If you do not reach an agreement with one lawyer you may talk with other lawyers.
2. Any contingent fee contract must be in writing and you have three business days by law and seven business days under this contract to reconsider the contract. You may cancel the contract without any reason if you notify your lawyer in writing within seven business days of signing the contract. If you withdraw from the contract within the first seven business days, you do not owe the lawyer a fee although you may be responsible for the lawyer’s actual costs during that time. If your lawyer begins to represent you, your lawyer may not withdraw from the case without giving you notice, delivering necessary papers to you, and allowing you time to employ another lawyer. Often, your lawyer must obtain court approval before withdrawing from a case. If you discharge your lawyer without good cause after the seven-day period, you may have to pay a fee for work the lawyer has done.
3. Before hiring a lawyer, you, the client, have the right to know about the lawyer’s education, training, and experience. If you ask, the lawyer should tell you specifically about the lawyer’s actual experience dealing with cases similar to yours. If you ask, the lawyer should provide information about special training or knowledge and give you this information in writing if you request it.
4. Before signing a contingent fee contract with you, a lawyer must advise you whether the lawyer intends to handle your case alone or whether other lawyers will be helping with the case. If your lawyer intends to refer the case to other lawyers, the lawyer should tell you what kind of fee sharing arrangement will be made with the other lawyers. If lawyers from different law firms will represent you, at least one lawyer from each law firm must sign the contingent fee contract.
5. If your lawyer intends to refer your case to another lawyer or counsel with other lawyers, your lawyer should tell you about that at the beginning. If your lawyer takes the case and later decides to refer it to another lawyer or to associate with other lawyers, you should sign a new contract that includes the new lawyers. You, the client, also have the right to consult with each lawyer working on your case and each lawyer is legally responsible to represent your interests and is legally responsible for the acts of the other lawyers involved in the case.
6. You, the client, have the right to know in advance how you will need to pay the expenses and the legal fees at the end of the case. If you pay a deposit in advance for costs, you may ask reasonable questions about how the money will be or has been spent and how much of it remains unspent. Your lawyer should give a reasonable estimate about future necessary costs. If your lawyer agrees to lend or advance you money to prepare or research the case, you have the right to know periodically how much money your lawyer has spent on your behalf. You also have the right to decide, after consulting with your lawyer, how much money is to be spent to prepare a case. If you pay the expenses, you have the right to decide how much to spend. Your lawyer should also inform you whether the fee will be based on the gross amount recovered or on the amount recovered minus the costs.
7. You, the client, have the right to be told by your lawyer about possible adverse consequences if you lose the case. Those adverse consequences might include money that you might have to pay to your lawyer for costs and liability you might have for attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses to the other side.
8. You, the client, have the right to receive and approve a closing statement at the end of the case before you pay any money. The statement must list all of the financial details of the entire case, including the amount recovered, all expenses, and a precise statement of your lawyer’s fee. Until you approve the closing statement your lawyer cannot pay any money to anyone, including you, without an appropriate order of the court. You also have the right to have every lawyer or law firm working on your case sign this closing statement.
9. You, the client, have the right to ask your lawyer at reasonable intervals how the case is progressing and to have these questions answered to the best of your lawyer’s ability.
10. You, the client, have the right to make the final decision regarding settlement of a case. Your lawyer must notify you of all offers of settlement before and after the trial. Offers during the trial must be immediately communicated and you should consult with your lawyer regarding whether to accept a settlement. However, you must make the final decision to accept or reject a settlement.
11. If at any time you, the client, believe that your lawyer has charged an excessive or illegal fee, you have the right to report the matter to The Florida Bar, the agency that oversees the practice and behavior of all lawyers in Florida. For information on how to reach The Florida Bar, call 850-561-5600, or contact the local bar association. Any disagreement between you and your lawyer about a fee can be taken to court and you may wish to hire another lawyer to help you resolve this disagreement. Usually fee disputes must be handled in a separate lawsuit, unless your fee contract provides for arbitration. You can request, but may not require, that a provision for arbitration (under Chapter 682, Florida Statutes, or under the fee arbitration rule of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar) be included in your fee contract.