Because of the “David versus Goliath” situation, in which an individual consumer does not have the same limitless resources of large international multi-billion dollar corporations, the California legislature drafted the Lemon Law with what is called a one-way fee shifting provision. So as to level the playing field, a consumer is entitled to have his or her attorneys’ fees and costs paid for by the manufacturer if/when the defective good is repurchased.
Specifically, California Civil Code § 1794(d) states that “if the buyer prevails in an action under this section, the buyer shall be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including attorney’s fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the buyer in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action.”
Thus, attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses under the Lemon Law are not related to any portion of a consumer’s recovery – the Law Offices of Michael Devlin will not take a percentage of your buyback award. Rather, the attorneys working on your case would charge an hourly market rate which would then be owed by the manufacturer on your behalf. If the manufacturer in your case made the Offices work harder or longer, then the manufacturer would have to pay the Offices more for such time. In the California legislature’s eyes, this works to level the playing field between an individual consumer and a large corporation.
Additionally, any initial consultation is free and members of the Offices are happy to discuss any potential case at no charge to a perspective client. Due to these factors taken together, consumers who contact the Office can rest easy knowing that the attorneys working at the Law Offices of Michael Devlin will work hard on their behalf typically at no cost to them should they choose to initiate a case represented by the Office.