A lawsuit is an expensive, time-intensive process. Often cases require tens of thousands of dollars in costs and attorney time. Medical claims often require expert witnesses, whose fees must be paid whether the lawsuit is successful or not.
Most individuals are unable to pay an attorney outright, so we take cases on a contingent fee basis. Many factors lead us to decline cases because we cannot make the economics work for the client. In evaluating cases, we consider what happened, the damages or injuries, and our judgment as to whether a claim would be likely to be successful. Sometimes, even if the case has merit, we still have to decline the case.
Some individuals question why we don’t accept their case pro bono. Lawyers take pro bono (short for pro bono publico “for the public good”) cases without any expectation for payment or compensation. We do not accept civil rights suits from individuals on a pro bono basis. Although the firm does pro bono work, that work is generally outside of our regular civil rights practice.
The process of finding an attorney can be difficult. As you look for representation, keep in mind that strict time limits apply to cases against public entities and public employees.