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 legal fees litigants pay for claims that fall fully under this exclusion are not at issue, since the exclusion of any income renders the legal fee deduction question irrelevant.
In some cases, they have paid millions of dollars in legal fees after unsuccessfully fighting the lawsuits in court.
Winona Ryder's shoplifting charge racked up far larger legal fees than the typical shoplifting case.
They will now have to prove they are not able to pay their legal fees before qualifying for legal aid.
SIR - How can people avoid the horror story of legal fees reported in the Western Mail (April 9)?
Legal fees for three new public inquiries into controversial murders in Northern Ireland will be kept under tight control.
The drug chain wants Noonan to repay the money it advanced him for legal fees and return the payments he received when he left the company in early 2000.
The men's religious order has paid out over $1 million in legal fees since 1999, and foreseeable legal expenses alone are estimated at $600,000 per year.
Historically, the common law has developed to classify this type of legal fees in one of two categories, fees incurred to create a right to support and fees incurred to enforce an existing right.
Therefore, attorneys can make money by bringing these lawsuits, and businesses are forced to spend their money on legal fees instead of correcting violations.
Courts order legal fees to be paid to three West Coast newspapers
Chancellor William Chandler of the Delaware Chancery Court also ordered the appliance maker to advance the two ousted executives any future legal fees.