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 ?
* In 1990, the average attorneys fee was $7,642 for a workers' comp case; by 1998, it was $2,287 or more than a 75 percent decline.
(18) Under this test, the party who prevailed on the "significant issues" in the case is the prevailing party for purposes of attorneys fee assessment.
If the resident prevails on this theory, there will be an assessment against the defendant for reasonable attorneys' fees not to exceed $25,000.) With the elimination of the attorneys fee provision, some attorneys will now think twice before pursuing legal actions that might not yield the "pot of gold" they once did.
The subcontract agreement contained an attorneys fee clause which stated: "Should a subcontractor default in any of the provisions of this subcontract and should contractor employ an attorney to enforce any provisions hereof or collect damages for breach of subcontract, subcontractor and his surety agreed to pay contractor such reasonable attorneys fees as he may expend therein."
In addition to affirming Needham's ruling, the high court's decision on Friday sends the case back to Needham and instructs him to calculate the balance of the loan and determine the amount of attorneys fees and costs Stafsholt incurred at the high court and court of appeals.
In awarding attorneys fees, the district court failed to exclude time spent for plaintiffs whose claims were time-barred; it also incorrectly determined the percentage of sought damages actually won.
Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier testified the bill does not tackle a major incentive for AOB abuse: attorneys fees.
The term "suits at common law" in the United States Constitution has been construed to refer to common-law causes of action and "actions brought to enforce statutory rights that are analogous to common-law causes of action ordinarily decided in English law courts in the late 18th century, as opposed to those customarily heard by courts of equity or admiralty." (25) It turns out that attorneys' fees have been considered "part of costs" for a very long time: "At common law, attorney's fees were regarded as an element of 'costs' awarded to the prevailing party." (26) And "[s]ince there is no common law right to recover attorneys fees, the Seventh Amendment does not guarantee a trial by jury to determine the amount of reasonable attorneys fees." (27)
If the particular court is located in a jurisdiction that requires that a plaintiff plead its intent to recover his attorneys fees under FRCP 9(g) or otherwise provide timely notice, a company should assert the "plead or waiver" defenses recognized by those jurisdictions.
Likewise, in the federal reporters, numerous courts have struggled to resolve the "stylistic dilemma of whether to use 'attorney fees,' 'attorneys fees,' 'attorney's fees,' or 'attorneys' fees'.
Hematology asserted that the trial court erred in awarding attorney's fees and costs to the Estate because the "expenses terms" of the AWDA do not permit a claim for attorneys fees or litigation expenses.
The defendants objected when the plaintiffs attorneys requested fees in excess of $14 million--an amount they reached by calculating hourly attorney rates plus a fee enhancement for "superior work and results." The district court awarded attorneys fees of $10.5 million, which included a $4.5 million fee enhancement.