This agreement (“Agreement”) is made between the individual and related entities listed below (collectively the “Client”) and the Shields Law Group, L.L.C., Olathe KS, dba www.MidwestCornFarmerLawyers.com (hereafter “Attorneys”).
Designation of Claims
Client retains and employs Attorneys to represent Client in connection with any and all claims, causes of action and remedies that Client may have against SYNGENTA AG, SYNGENTA SEEDS, INC., or any other related SYNGENTA AG entities that are or may be liable for the damages and losses that Client has suffered and continues to suffer stemming from the contamination of the U.S. corn supply with MIR 162 and/or Event 5307, genetically engineered corn traits otherwise known as SYNGENTA’S Agrisure Viptera® or Agrisure Duricade™ (the “Claims”). All years of contamination are included.
Scope of Authority
Client authorizes Attorneys to take all steps they deem necessary for the proper investigation, preparation and filing of the Claims, including the timing, substance and location of any filing, pre-trial motions, trial, post-trial motions and/or appeals. Attorneys are authorized to seek all damages, past and future, on behalf of Client and as supported by law.
Approval Necessary for Settlement
Attorneys will not settle the Claims without Client’s approval. As well, Client will not make a settlement offer without consulting Attorneys. If at any point Attorneys, based upon their experience and familiarity with the litigation, recommend a settlement to Client to which Client will not reasonably accept, then Attorneys can elect at that time to require Client to advance all or a portion of future litigation expenses from that date forward. Attorneys are authorized to negotiate a settlement of Client’s claims and other clients similarly situated, if appropriate, with full disclosure to Client.
30% Contingency Fee
In consideration of Attorneys’ services to be rendered, Client hereby assigns, grants and conveys to Attorneys the following present undivided interest in the Claims: 30% of any “Net Benefit Received” to Client. For purposes of this Agreement the term “Net Benefit Received” is defined as: “the total amount recovered or received on the Client’s behalf including, without limitation, any compensatory and punitive damage awards, settlement monies, statutory attorney fee award, and awards of pre-and post-judgment interest, after the assessment of any court ordered common benefit expenses applied equally to all farmers’ cases”. IN THE EVENT OF NO RECOVERY, CLIENT OWES NO ATTORNEY FEES OR COSTS. Client will receive 70% of the “Net Benefit Received” as part of this Agreement.
*Non Common Benefit Expenses Paid by Attorneys
Attorneys agree to advance any and all reasonable expenses associated with the prosecution of the Client’s claims, including all filing fees. Attorneys’ personal expenses incurred advancing Client’s claims will be reimbursed to Attorneys out of their 30% fee, and not out of Client’s portion of the “Net Benefit Received”. *Common benefit expenses are ordered by the Court and are apportioned equally among all farmers’ claims nationally, after approval by the Judge. This provision does not apply to any Court ordered common benefit expense assessments made upon all farmers’ claims. Such assessments are taken prior to determination of the “Net Benefit Received”. They cannot be waived by Attorneys. Common Benefit expense is currently set at 3% but could go lower in the final assessment. At 3%, farmer will receive 67.9% of the gross settlement.
Client agrees to keep Attorneys advised of Client’s residence and business addresses, email address and phone numbers, and to cooperate in the preparation of the case, including a trial if needed (but unlikely). Client consents to being contacted via email (if one is available). Client further agrees to cooperate and assist Attorneys by providing necessary proof of corn production at a later date, and completing any other necessary documentation or appearances (if necessary). This Agreement shall be binding upon Attorneys and Client, as well as their respective heirs, personal and legal representatives, successors and assigns. This Agreement contains the entire agreement and understanding of the parties and it supersedes all previous agreements between them, if any, whether verbal or written. No representations, promises, agreements or understandings not herein contained shall be of any force or effect. No amendments to, alteration or modification of this Agreement shall be valid unless memorialized in writing and duly executed by Client and Attorneys. To the extent that Client includes one or more partnerships, corporations, LLC’s or other entities, the person executing this Agreement represents and warrants that such person has the authority to execute this Agreement on behalf of such entity. This Agreement shall be governed by and in accordance with the laws of the State wherein Client resides. Client has been given no guarantee of results. Attorneys may associate with other counsel, with approval of Client, but it will not affect the attorney fees paid under this Agreement. In the event any part of this Agreement is unenforceable, the remainder of the Agreement remains in full force and effect.
Accepted by Attorneys (upon return of signed contract by Client),
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