You generally can’t shift your fees onto the defendant. Your personal legal fees are your responsibility. But there are some exceptions. Fee shifting arrangements are sometimes allowed by statute. There’s almost always an underlying public policy that allows it in that instance.
Such an instance may exist when the general public can be served only when a particular party can recover its lawyer’s fees. In that instance, the local or state government may allow for fee shifting.
Statutory fee shifting often occurs in HOA disputes. Homeowner’s Associations are becoming more popular since they provide necessary services for the neighborhoods and the communities that they serve. In other words, local governments like them since they do a lot of the work that local governments used to do!
HOAs often require members to follow certain rules and maintain their properties up to certain standards. However, since many who live in an HOA don’t want to follow the rules, HOAs find that the only way they can enforce their many rules and regulations is to sue non-compliant members.
However, most HOAs couldn’t afford the lawyer’s fees if they had to pay them while suing non-compliant members. That’s why local governments have allowed these organizations to shift the fees to the members who they sue. Fee-shifting arrangements also exist with class action suits, lemon lawsuits, civil rights cases, antitrust cases, and other such cases. The general public tends to benefit in these types of cases. That’s why fee shifting is allowed.
You can draft a contract that states that the winning party will pay the losing party’s lawyer’s fees. The contract must form the basis of a lawsuit. A good example is a breach of contract. Also, the fee-shifting provision must be clearly stated and easy to see.
Most states allow the plaintiff to require the defendant to pay for his or her lawyer’s fees, and vice versa. Note, that you can lose your right to require the other party to pay your lawyer’s fees if you don’t specifically state that provision in the contract.
You can usually do this by using affidavits but you may have to have an adversarial hearing that requires the other party to pay your injury lawyer’s fees in Brentwood. NOTE: the lawyer’s fees can be much greater than the amount that you are seeking in the lawsuit. What gives the provision teeth is if you are legally required to pay the lawyer’s fees.
You may be able to get your spouse to pay your lawyer’s fees, especially if you can prove that the person put you in extreme hardship during the marriage. You’ll get more alimony money if your spouse cannot pay your lawyer’s fees.You should ask a lawyer if you have any hard-seated questions about who is legally obligated to pay your lawyer’s fees.