LEGAL UPDATES IN PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

 

Contingency Costs and Expenses

Personal injury attorneys will welcome changes to RPC 1.8(e) effective February 15, 2019 which allow attorneys to make recovery of advanced litigation expenses contingent upon the outcome of the case. http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/amendments_tracked/2018_1212_part_six_sect_ii_rule_1_8.pdf 

 

Previously, the Rule required that the Client be ultimately responsible no matter the outcome of the case. The amendment further included a new Comment [10] which explicitly recognized as permissibly contingent litigation expenses “medical examination and the costs of obtaining and presenting evidence.” This should include expert witness fees.

 

These changes bring Virginia in conformance to the ABA Model Rules—and as a colleague in personal injury practice stated, “the old rule made little sense and ignored the realities of personal injury practice.”