Michael R. Caryl P.S.

Attorney’s Fees Issues – Our Sole Focus (206) 378-4125

What We Do

As discussed in Mike’s Profile, Mike has been gradually semi-retiring as of the time he relocated to the Tucson, Arizona area in mid-2014. He cut back then on what he had been doing for the past 20 years, eliminating some aspects of his disputed fee law practice. Effective January 1, 2016, Mike eliminated practicing law for clients altogether. The following three areas constitute the remaining parts of Mike’s original disputed fee practice. To this date, he remains busy with expert witness engagements.

Serving as An Expert Witness In Litigation Or In Discipline

Mike possesses extensive experience as an expert witness in litigation relating to attorney’s fees, having presented expert testimony live before juries and the court, by deposition and by expert witness declarations on nearly fifty occasions in the following contexts.

  1. Reasonableness of attorney’s fees charged by lawyers to clients.
  2. Reasonableness of attorney’s fees to be awarded as damages in cases of indemnity.
  3. Reasonableness of prevailing party attorney’s fees to be awarded by a court (lodestar process).
  4. Compliance with ethical standards by lawyers in discipline cases and in civil litigation involving attorney’s fees.
  5. Compliance with ethics rules in the use of attorney’s fee agreements and billing practices.
  6. Breach of fiduciary duty in cases of very serious ethical violations.
  7. Appropriateness of “Lindy-Bowers multipliers” in award of fee shifting fees court awards in contingency fee cases.
  8. Apportionment of attorney fee awards in contingency fee cases between lawyers not in the same firm. [RPC 1.5(e)]

Serving As Arbitrator In Disputed Fee Cases

Mike has served as an arbitrator, having rendered awards in over 50 cases involving commercial, construction, tort insurance cases, and has also served as arbitrator in the disputed- fee context. The arbitration of a disputed fee case by Mike, with his extensive experience in such cases, is an efficient and cost-effective alternative to court litigation. Mike also offers a very efficient and inexpensive, all-paper/no open-hearing alternative form of arbitration for smaller-sized fee disputes.

Serving As Mediator In Disputed Fee Cases

Mike also serves in the capacity of mediator in disputed fee cases and his background in disputed fee litigation and expert practice affords him credibility with litigants.

“Mike’s knowledge and experience in attorney fee issues sets him apart as an expert that the courts have listened to for guidance in setting attorney fee awards. Very few people have the breadth of knowledge, objectivity and credibility with the courts that Mike possesses. When Mike speaks, judges listen.”

– Scott Blair, Seattle attorney, 2011