How to Choose a California Lemon Law Attorney


When looking for an attorney to represent you in a California lemon law claim, it is important to find an attorney that you can trust, who is an expert in the California lemon law, who will aggressively litigate your claim, who shares your goals in the case, and whose fees and costs are acceptable.

Make Sure That Your Attorney Specializes in California Lemon Law Lawsuits

With regard to expertise, you should ask how many lemon law cases the attorney has litigated and what his or her success rate is.  Even more importantly, if you think that there might be any potential problems with your lawsuit, you should ask how the attorney plans to overcome them.  An attorney who wants to sign you up for a California lemon law claim without a SPECIFIC plan for winning may be more interested in maximizing his case load than ensuring that every one of his or her clients wins.

Ask About Attorney’s Fees & Costs

With regard to fees, you want to find out if the attorney will charge you any money up front, or whether he or she will take the case on a contingency fee basis.  Most attorneys who are experts in the California lemon law are willing to take cases on a contingency fee basis – because they believe they are likely to win.  So if you have a decent case, it is probably not necessary to front any of the attorney’s fees.

You also want to ask what, if any, percentage of your recovery the attorney will keep for himself or herself.  Specifically, most attorneys will ask for a portion of any “civil penalty” payment or punitive damages that they recover. Civil Penalties and punitive damages are payments that you might receive in addition to your vehicle repurchase or replacement (see this site’s Web page How Much Money Can I Recover in a Lemon Law Lawsuit for a complete description of the types of recovery available in a lemon law case). The percentage of civil penalties and punitive damages that attorneys retain for themselves amount will varies from lawyer to lawyer, and law firm to law firm; however, it is generally between 25% and 40%.  You should also consider that this type of contingency fee recovery isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it can be in your interest to give your attorney a direct financial incentive to recover a civil penalty payment for you, since that will result in more money in your pocket.  However, you want to make sure that the percentage split is acceptable to you.

You should pay particular attention to whether the attorney intends to retain any portion of the reimbursement payments that you recover (e.g., the money you are awarded to reimburse you for the down payment and monthly payments that you made towards the vehicle).  Some attorneys will charge your and keep up to 10% of this recovery, but if your vehicle’s repair history appears to support a strong California lemon law lawsuit, then there is no shortage of attorneys who allow their clients to keep 100% of the reimbursement recovery.

Make Sure That You and Your Lemon Law Attorney Share the Same Goals for Your Case

It is also important that you and any prospective attorney discuss what recovery the attorney intends to pursue in your case.  This is important because the California lemon law permits consumers to recover (1) a repurchase of the vehicle and reimbursement for all payments made towards the vehicle (less an offset for vehicle use), (2) reimbursement for incidental damages like repair expenses, rental car expenses, and other amounts that the consumer had to pay as a result of owning the “lemon,” and (3) a civil penalty of up to two times actual damages (see Web page on Potential Monetary Recovery in Lemon Lawsuits) – yet some attorneys are satisfied with recovering only a vehicle repurchase and incidental damages in their cases, and never attempt to press for a civil penalty payment.  While civil penalty payments are obtained in only a minority of California lemon law lawsuits, you – and your attorney – should not give up the notion of recovering a penalty payment if you have a strong case.  It is essential that you find an attorney who will aggressively litigate your California lemon law claim if you want to have a chance of recovering a civil penalty payment.

Trust Matters in Your California Lemon Law Attorney Matters

Finally, perhaps the most important thing is finding a California lemon law lawyer who you can trust.  Your attorney is the one who is going to make recommendations about how much your case is worth.  So it is important that you have an open and respectful relationship that is based on trust.

So how do you know who is trustworthy?  Ask your friends or associates if they can recommend a lawyer.  If they can’t, then take some time to get to know the attorneys who you call.  Do they directly answer your questions?  Or are they vague and evasive?  Does they tell you about the weaknesses of your case, or just tell you what you want to hear?  Look for straight talk, clear answers, and trust your gut.

The Vachon Law Firm – The Trusted Name in California Lemon Law Attorneys

At the Vachon Law Firm, we have successfully litigated hundreds of California lemon law lawsuits, and obtained recovery for over 99% of our clients. We do not charge any portion of our client’s reimbursement recovery for good cases, and we charge no more than 33% of any “punitive damages” or civil penalty payments that we recover for our clients in addition to a vehicle buyback. We think that, in most cases, it is ALWAYS worthwhile to pursue additional monetary recovery for our clients in addition to just a vehicle buyback, but we also give our clients the option of instead seeking a speedy resolution that doesn’t include anything more than a vehicle repurchase. Finally, we earn our title “The Trusted Name in California Lemon Law Attorneys.” We are always 100% straightforward with clients about the strengths and weakness of their cases. If you have a case, we’ll tell you. If you don’t, we’ll tell you that too.

If this is the type of attorney who you want to represent you, then call the Vachon Law Firm right now at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665). Consultations are always FREE!!!


The Vachon Law Firm accepts cases ANYWHERE in the State of California:

Los Angeles County

Orange County

San Diego County

San Bernardino

Marin County

Alameda County


Sacramento County

Riverside County