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Loser pays sounds like a good system, and I'll admit your suggestion for amount makes a lot of sense, but what if the lawyer is working entirely on contingency, as many of these cases are?

The interesting thing about contingency is a lawyer isn't going to take on a frivolous lawsuit on contingency. A lawyer will only take one on that he knows he can win, otherwise it's a giant waste of the lawyer's time and money, which he won't do.

So I don't think it would be a problem.

This is true if contingency lawyers only charge their regular rate. Do they really? I thought they work for a stake in the award they are going to win. Otherwise, why would anybody take a case on contingency? There is no 100% guarantee of winning a civil case so it's effectively reducing your own rate since you are going to lose* some cases eventually (* you might even win every case but some of them did not get awarded enough money to pay the lawyer's fees).

Contingency means they charge a percentage of the winnings. If they lose, they get $0. Hence, lawyers don't take on contingency cases unless it's a strong case.

And if they win they might get a giant pile of money. Hence, rational lawyers take on contingency cases based on the strength of the case relative to the potential payout. A weak case with high payout could be a better option than a sure-win case with low payout. This very website is created by people who practice this strategy in investment and they seem to be doing just fine.

Germany has "loser pays everything". However, a settlement means no one lost and everybody pays his own lawyers.

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