Recovering Attorneys’ Fees in a California Lawsuit

Recovering Attorneys’ Fees in a California Lawsuit

Updated on September 27, 2023

Attorneys’ Fees in California

Anytime a person or individual is faced with a lawsuit or contemplating filing a lawsuit they should always be thinking about attorneys’ fees. These fees are important because they are generally the cost of participating in the lawsuit with the aid of a lawyer.  Lawyers generally charge by the hour or agree to take the case on a contingency. For lawyers charging by the hour or via flat fees, the cost of the lawsuit is largely the attorneys’ fees.

Winning and Losing Party in a Lawsuit

Because attorneys’ fees necessarily play a large role in any lawsuit it is important to understand whether there is an ability to recover these fees in a particular dispute. The attorneys’ fees law in California generally provides that unless the fees are provided for by statute or by contract they are not recoverable. In other words, unless a law or contract says otherwise the winning and losing party to lawsuit must pay their own attorneys fees.

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Cases Where No Fees Provided by Law or Contract

In cases where there are no attorneys’ fees provided by law or contract each party must realize that the attorney fees they spend on the case will not be recoverable. For example, if you are a plaintiff seeking damages of $100,000 without an attorneys’ fees provision, then every dollar you spend on attorneys’ fees during the litigation will affect your recovery.

That said, sometimes investing additional money into your case will actually maximize your potential recovery because it will better your chances of prevailing. It is important to understand this and to understand that there is a lot involved in a lawsuit and the recovery you obtain is based, at least in part, on the facts, the law, the quality of representation, the time spent on the case and the trier of fact (judge or jury).

Cases Where Attorneys’ Fees are Provided by Law or Contract

In cases where attorneys’ fees are provided by law or contract, the winner gets reimbursed for their reasonable fees and costs. That means if you are the plaintiff and the court determines that you are the prevailing party you get a judgment awarding you your damages in the lawsuit as well as your attorney’s fees.

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Alternatively, if you are the loser, you not only lose whatever damages the court awards, you also can lose your own attorneys’ fees that you have paid your own attorney and can be ordered to pay the other side’s fees. This can amount to a huge loss.

Our team of experienced real estate lawyers in Los Angeles have extensive experience with attorneys’ fee awards based on law and contract.

While we cannot guarantee any specific results, our track record of maximizing our client’s chances of recovering their attorney fees and costs is excellent. Moreover, we have a great track record of getting attorney fees awarded to its clients. In fact, in the past we have had our attorneys’ fees awarded and/or paid by the opposing party in the following types of cases:

  • A specific performance case;
  • An arbitration for partition;
  • Commercial leasing dispute;
  • Fraudulent transfer case;
  • Residential Leasing dispute involving a habitability claim;
  • Motion for Sanctions pursuant to CCP 128.7
  • Unlawful detainer cases;
  • Several other types of cases.
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Our litigators understand the importance of maximizing our client’s recovery. Our track record speaks for itself in that regard. To see if you qualify for a free consultation please contact us at (310) 954-1877, or [email protected].