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Glossary of Legal Terms

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Below you will find a brief glossary of legal terms found in our Contingency Fee Contract & Statement of Client Rights to help you better understand the documents. Should you have any questions please call your attorney who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

  • Closing Statement: An accounting of all proceeds, expenses, and fees signed by the client and law firm.
  • Contract: A binding agreement between two or more persons or parties.
  • Disbursement: the act of paying out money especially from a fund
  • Final Release: Discharge form obligation or responsibility. In personal injury lawsuits this effectively ends the case against a defendant.
  • Gross Recovery: Overall total exclusive of deductions.
  • Net Recovery: Remaining after the deduction of all charges, outlay, or loss.
  • Non-Recourse Basis: of, relating to, or being a debt whose satisfaction may be obtained on default only out of the particular collateral given and not out of the debtor’s other assets. The law firm will be repaid for expenses related to the representation from only the proceeds of the lawsuit.
  • Proposal for Settlement: If a plaintiff files a demand for judgment which is not accepted by the defendant within 30 days and the plaintiff recovers a judgment in an amount at least 25 percent greater than the offer, she or he shall be entitled to recover reasonable costs and attorney’s fees incurred from the date of the filing of the demand.
  • Statement of Clients Rights: The “Statement of Clients’ Rights” was approved by the Florida Supreme Court in June 1986. It must be read and signed by both attorney and client in most contingency fee matters (that is, a case where the attorney’s fee is a percentage of the amount awarded to the client). The “Waiver of the Constitutional Right Provided in Article 1, Section 26, Florida Constitution” and “Acknowledgment by Client for Presentation to the Court” were approved by the Florida Supreme Court and became effective January 1, 2007. Those must be signed and notarized if you are unable to find a lawyer or law firm to represent you at the contingency fee rates set out in the Florida Constitution for medical malpractice cases or if you want to hire a particular lawyer or law firm, but you cannot hire your choice of counsel at the contingency fee rates provided in the constitutional provision.
  • Statute: A Law enacted by the legislative branch of a government.
  • Trust Account: A lawyer must hold in trust, separate from the lawyer’s own property, funds and property of clients or third persons that are in a lawyer’s possession in connection with a representation.
  • Withdrawal: To terminate, or end, representation.

Definitions and information was sourced from the following websites:

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