It is morning. The stranger rides into town on a horse as black as a moonless night, a woolen poncho concealing the gunbelts strapped across his chest. He says nothing to the poor, worried townsfolk who crowd the streets to catch a glimpse of him. Everyone knows why he is here. He has been asked to do the impossible, though no one dares ask how. The odds are long, and his price is high: If he prevails, his bounty will be taken from the spoils he recovers from those who have ravaged and pillaged the town for years….

We are hardly the first to compare contingency fee lawyers to hired guns. At their best, these lawyers boast skills and special talents needed by many but possessed by only a few. The gunfighters are willing to risk their lives — the lawyers to risk their livelihoods — by taking on seemingly hopeless causes on the chance they may leave the arena with a sack of gold.

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