WelcomeWelcome to The Contingency — a new law blog that will offer insights on sharing risk in high-stakes business disputes.

Reasons to read

The Contingency will tell you things you need to know if you:

  • Hire lawyers to handle civil cases and would like to get better results at a lower net cost;
  • Work as a civil trial lawyer and want to boost your earning prospects through favorable outcomes for your clients; or
  • Are curious about how sharing risk can promote stronger, happier, and more successful ties between civil trial lawyers and clients.

About me

I have tried high-stakes lawsuits for 30 years at the number one litigation boutique in the country, Susman Godfrey L.L.P.

As a firm, we spend well over half of our time on engagements that share risk with our clients. Any case that doesn’t involve a straight hourly fee arrangement requires a vote by all the partners and associates in the firm, and to do that we meet almost every Wednesday to debate the strengths and weaknesses of potential cases.

My three decades of experience and the ongoing case evaluation process that I regularly participate in enable me to pass on to you inside knowledge that very few lawyers — and fewer clients — ever have access to.


My first law blog, Blawgletter, ran from January 1, 2007 until June 15, 2015 and included 2,324 posts, mostly about new decisions relating to commercial litigation. The Contingency will allow readers to access all of the Blawgletter posts and going forward will focus on the challenges and opportunities of sharing risk with clients in high-stakes business disputes.

To give you an idea of what I have in mind, in the next several posts, I will walk you through the major types of fee arrangements in civil cases — hourly, flat, hybrid, and contingent — and explain advantages and disadvantages of each.


Whether you like what you read in The Contingency or it infuriates you, please remember to post comments that others can see and benefit from. The conversation adds a ton of value.

Please also tell your friends and colleagues about The Contingency. And by all means get yourself a subscription by clicking on one or more of the available options under “Stay Connected” on the right-hand side of this page.


The fantastic people at LexBlog have provided much help and encouragement in making the transition to The Contingency and the far-superior LexBlog platform. Special big thanks to Sarah Fischer for her excellent guidance, saintly patience, and good humor and to Brian Biddle for his design wizardry.  Colin O’Keefe also provided heavy lifting on the front-end; thank you, Colin.

I look forward to many productive years as a LexBlogger.