Attorney Negotiates Unfavorable High-Low Agreement for Client

Legal Malpractice Expert WitnessThis commercial law case involves a poorly advised high-low agreement in Vermont. Without the the plaintiff’s consent, the defendant attorney entered into an agreement that limited the recoverable damages in his client’s case significantly. The resulting verdict in the case was well over one million dollars. Due to the nature of the high-low agreement, the attorney’s client only received a fraction of the total award. The attorney also incurred a number of expenses while pursuing the case, which did more to reduce the total recovery that the plaintiff received after the case was concluded. In addition to the high-low agreement, the attorney also reached an agreement with the medical center that treated the plaintiff’s injuries for the payment of medical expenses. Ultimately, the only person who benefited from the agreement was the attorney, who had his expenses covered.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you have extensive experience working on similar malpractice cases?
  • 2. Please explain you experience with high low agreements?
  • 3. Do you have experience working reviewing cases and serving as an expert witness?

Expert Witness Response E-033142

Expert-ID: E-033142

I have substantial academic experience with high-low agreements; I have written papers and have done extensive empirical work on the subject. I have also considered the underlying economic issues, including agency problems, created by these agreements. I have experience testifying as an expert, but am yet to work on a malpractice case. I would like to know more facts about what transpired in this case, but it sounds like a straight forward contracts and attorney malpractice case, although there may be other arguments on both sides depending on the jurisdiction and presumably the practice. In my view, this should be no different than an attorney settling a case without the plaintiff’s consent.


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