What Are Typical Attorneys’ Fees for Condemnation Cases in Texas?
As a landowner faced with condemnation, you may be considering hiring an attorney, but you’re also concerned about attorneys’ fees. Will the fees be taken from the initial offer you’ve received? Attorney Philip Hundl answers that question in this video. Call 800-929-1725 or use our contact form for an appointment to discuss your condemnation case.
Summary of the Attorney Fees for Condemnation Cases Video
– – Hello, my name’s Philip Hundl. I’m an attorney with Wadler, Perches, Hundl & Kerlick. We’re a law firm based in Wharton County, with offices is Fort Bend County, as well. Primarily, I handle condemnation cases for landowners throughout the Gulf Coast area of Texas.
I’d like to talk today about fee arrangements in condemnation cases and, specifically, condemnation cases between landowner condemnation representation by lawyers.
What Are Typical Attorneys Fees in Condemnation Cases
So, there’s been some questions about what’s the typical fee arrangement for a landowner that’s faced with a condemnation case, be it a pipeline, be it a road expansion, utility easement. What options are available for that landowner?
I think sometimes landowners believe that to hire a lawyer, it’s going to cost a lot of money, it’s going to be billed on an hourly basis, and that’s going to eat into whatever possible compensation or compensation that they will get from, in this case, let’s say a pipeline company.
Landowners tend to sometimes be hesitant to get a lawyer involved, especially get a lawyer involved early on, because they’re afraid they’re going to receive less from the pipeline company in the end, because they have to pay for their lawyer. I understand that concern, and so, let’s talk about the typical fee arrangements in a condemnation case.
Typically, condemnation attorneys handling landowner condemnation matters will handle those matters on a contingency fee basis. What does that mean? Let’s just say, for example, a landowner receives an offer from a pipeline company of $50,000, and by hiring an attorney on a contingency fee basis, the landowner in the end receives $80,000, through the negotiation of the attorney, possibly negotiation and reaching a settlement, or negotiation representing the landowner at a Special Commissioners’ Hearing, or all the way through trial, and receives more.
Let’s say, for example, receives at total of $80,000 total. Under a contingency fee arrangement, the attorney would subtract off the $50,000 that the landowner was initially offered. That’s the landowner’s. It’s not subject to a contingency fee. And then, the part that the attorney would receive would be out of the additional amount that the attorney was able to get for the landowner.
So let’s just use an example, contingency fee percentages can range from one-third up to 40, 45%, depending on when the attorney is hired by the landowner and gets involved. But under our scenario, let’s just say it was a one-third contingency fee arrangement. So, initial offer, $50,000. Final agreed amount to be paid, $80,000. The landowner would receive $70,000, so $50,000 plus $20,000. The attorney would receive $10,000.
So what’s at play for the contingency fee is the additional $30,000 that the attorney was able to get, in addition to the initial offer that was offered by the pipeline company. So, under that contingency fee arrangement, landowner receives $70,000, so $20,000 more than what they were offered by the pipeline company, and the attorney receives a contingency fee of $10,000. Under that arrangement, the landowner did not lose any of his initial offer from the pipeline company.
There’s also some scenarios, and I’ve seen this, and I’ve been hired under this fee arrangement, is an hourly fee arrangement, when the landowner believes that it’s in his best interest economically to just hire the attorney on an hourly basis. And hourly rates of attorneys will vary, just like contingency fee percentages. But also condemnation attorneys can be hired on an hourly bases.
Some condemnation attorneys may not accept that fee arrangement. They may want to stick with a contingency fee, but once again, I’ve seen both arrangements. I’ve worked under both arrangements, as well, with landowners. So hopefully that’s helpful in clarifying contingency fee agreements or arrangements for landowners in condemnation cases. Good luck.
Call 800-929-1725 for an Appointment with Attorney Philip Hundl
Don’t let your concern about attorneys’ fees prevent you from seeking legal representation. Call 800-929-1725 for an appointment with Mr. Hundl to discuss the facts of your case and the fee agreement that works well for you. Mr. Hundl meets clients at offices in Fort Bend County and Wharton County.