A future event or
circumstance whose occurrence is not certain.
A fee charged for a lawyerÂ’s services in an action that is paid
only if the client wins his or her lawsuit or receives a payment from an
out-of-court settlement. Usually, the fee is a percentage of the amount
recovered. Further-more, whatever the result of the action, the client will pay
the court costs and the other out-of-pocket expenses (postage, subpoena fees,
and so on) incurred by the lawyer during the course of the action. Although
contingency fees are frequently charged for a lawyerÂ’s services in a civil
action, it is unethical to charge this way for services in a criminal action.
Also called contingent fee. See also attorneyÂ’s fees and champerty