Florida Civil Cases – Higher Court Filing Fees
Florida civil trial attorneys and their clients will have to face higher court filing fees beginning July 1, 2009. The party initiating a lawsuit (Plaintiff) will have to pay an additional $100.00 to the clerk of court in the county where the lawsuit is filed. All civil cases including motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, insurance claims, and other personal injury actions will feel the effects of this increase – especially cases involving contingency fee agreements between a law firm and a client.
The filing and prosecuting of civil lawsuits is already a costly affair. Depending on the complexity of a particular case, attorneys typically incur thousands of dollars in costs to successfully prosecute a case on a clients behalf. When a contingency fee agreement is entered into between a law firm and a client, the law firm will advance these costs on behalf of their clients with the understanding that they will be reimbursed for these expenses directly from the client if the outcome of the case is successful. Law firms know full well that in the unfortunate event that the outcome of the case is unsuccessful, they may not recover these expenses. It is important to note that such increases in costs also directly impacts a client. By having to reimburse their attorney or law firm for all costs advanced on their behalf if a recovery is made, the client ends up receiving a smaller net recovery.
While the passing of this law will probably not serve to deter the filing of a civil lawsuit, its effects will be noted. Attorneys must always do what is in the best interest of their clients and must make recommendations accordingly. I always dedicate the necessary resources to ensure that my clients are adequately represented and their rights are protected. This increase in the filing fee will not deter me from filing lawsuits to protect my client's rights to just compensation for their loss.