attorney's fee

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attorney's fee

n. the payment for legal services. It can take several forms: 1) hourly charge, 2) flat fee for the performance of a particular service (like $250 to write a will), 3) contingent fee (such as one-third of the gross recovery, and nothing if there is no recovery), 4) statutory fees (such as percentages of an estate for representing the estate), 5) court-approved fees (such as in bankruptcy or guardianships), 6) some mixture of hourly and contingent fee or other combination. It is wise (and often mandatory) for the attorney and the client to have a signed contract for any extensive legal work, particularly in contingent fee cases. Most attorneys keep records of time spent on cases to justify fees (and keep track of when actions were taken), even when the work is not on an hourly basis. A "retainer" is a down payment on fees, often required by the attorney in order to make sure he or she is not left holding the bag for work performed, or at least as a good faith indication that the client is serious and can afford the services. On the other hand, contingent fees require limits (often one-third) to protect the unwary client. Attorney fee disputes can be decided by arbitration often operated by the local bar association. Attorney's fees are not awarded to the winning party in a lawsuit except where there is a provision in a contract for the fees or there is a statute which provides for an award of fees in the particular type of case.

References in periodicals archive ?
The way the game was played out in Florida was this: The first "domino" was excessive litigation, often the result of the attorneys' fee provision, which led to settlements that carried enormous attorneys' fees no matter how small the settlement.
Ambach (1988) held that the HCPA provided for attorneys' fee recovery in any action or proceeding, including due process hearings.
In cases where the plaintiff only seeks injunctive relief or damages that are substantially less than the attorneys' fees, treating the attorneys' fee award as income to the plaintiff could lead to the unhappy result that the plaintiff loses money by winning the suit.
Moreover, attorneys' fee claims, while "at all times subject to supervision by the courts, are most certainly subject to special scrutiny where not between attorney and client but are imposed by contract or otherwise upon third parties.
Atallah believes "(as) a practical matter, that the threat of an attorneys' fee award will close the door to claimants seeking justice in a NAFTA tribunal.
2) the award, drafted by NASD personnel, did not state whether the claimant prevailed on a statutory claim; and 3) the court that was empowered to make the attorneys' fee award could not determine whether the claimant had prevailed on a statutory claim, and was thus entitled to attorneys' fees, based on the language of the award.
The award of $15,523 for attorneys' fees is believed to be one of the largest attorneys' fee award ever levied against the Department of Ecology under Washington's Public Disclosure Act.
Sometimes, as when the plaintiff seeks only injunctive relief, the statute caps plaintiffs' recoveries, or for other reasons damages are substantially less than attorneys' fees, court-awarded attorneys' fees can exceed a plaintiff's monetary recovery; see Riverside, 477 US 561 (1986) (compensatory and punitive damages of $33,350; attorneys' fee award of $245,456).
Island Hoppers was a wrongful death action against a dive operator and two of its instructors, in which the sole appellate issue was the amount of an attorneys' fee award to which entitlement had already been established and affirmed pursuant to Florida's proposal for settlement statute.
The Florida Supreme Court has stated that an attorneys' fee claim is held not to be part of the party's substantive claim because it is intended only to make the successful party whole by reimbursing it for the expense of litigation.
The trial court then enters a total attorneys' fee award of $14,000 for Mr.
Although this is true for the entire attorneys' fee debacle, it is especially egregious in the case of class actions.