In “Law Talk – No. 1”, Kurt Schmalz discusses recovering “Prevailing Party Attorney’s Fees”

February 20, 2015
Kurt L. Schmalz

What is better than winning a lawsuit? It’s winning the case and getting the other side to pay your attorney’s fees.  In civil litigation, the general rule (often called the “American Rule”) is that each side in a lawsuit pays its own attorney’s fees.  The “American Rule” means that even if you win your lawsuit, your opponent does not have to reimburse you for your legal fees.  However, some notable exceptions to the American Rule exist where statutes or common law provide for a winning party to recover some or all of that party’s attorney’s fees from the losing side.  In California the parties to a written contract can include in the agreement a clause which states the winning party (called the “prevailing party”) in any future dispute arising from the contract can recover that party’s reasonable attorney’s fees from the losing side.  See Cal. Civil Code § 1717; Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1033.5 (a)(10).  Because attorney’s fees in civil litigation can be substantial, the winner’s ability to recover attorney’s fees from the losing side is a tremendous advantage and financial asset.  Whether you are filing a lawsuit or defending against it, it is important to have experienced litigation counsel analyze your case to determine whether “prevailing party” attorney’s fees are recoverable at the end of the lawsuit.

At LZSH&M we craft a litigation strategy that, if possible, puts our clients in a position to recover some or all of their attorney’s fees from the losing side. 

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