As is often the case in law and legal things, someone gets the short end of the stick. Take for instance the poor lawyer. I mean, lawyers often have a rough go of it; they file the complaint, go through discovery, fight in trial, hopefully win and then they get to fight for their fee(s). Oh, the humanity!
Of course, you also have those lawyers who, for whatever reason, lose the case and then want to collect fees for services rendered. Such was the case a few days ago when attorneys Kevin I. Shenkman and R. Rex Parris lost an appeal against the city of Palmdale. Apparently, these two adventurous attorneys were trying to stop an election. While the facts are a bit fuzzy, it looks like they won at the trial court level but when they formulated their preliminary injunction against the city, they used the word "and" instead of the word "or" which lead to an appeal and upon losing on appeal, they admitted, "We're the one's that screwed that one up."
The thing with mistakes is that everyone makes them. I make them, politicians make them, the guy standing by the water cooler makes them - EVERYONE makes mistakes. The difference between my mistakes and these attorneys is that most people don't try to get paid after they make a mistake.
Which all brings me to my point. Attorneys like to get paid when they work. They don't care if they win or lose - they want to be paid; and I'm betting messrs Shenkman and Parris are no different. Might I suggest, before they (or you) go and demand payment of fees (after losing a/your case), they/you take a look at:
- Lawyer's Manual on Professional Conduct (ABA)
- Collecting Your Fee: getting paid from intake to invoice (ABA)
- Legal Malpractice: the law office guide to purchasing legal malpractice insurance (West)