When Someone Else Has to Pay for Your Lawyer

There are times when someone else has to pay for your lawyer. Most countries in the world follow the English rule on attorney’s fees. This means the losing party has to pay the winning party’s attorney’s fees.

The United States is the exception. We follow the American rule (makes sense). The American rule means each party is usually responsible for their own attorney’s fees. However, there are exceptions when the losing party can be required to pay the winning party’s attorney’s fees.

If a statute or a contract requires the losing party to pay the winning party’s attorneys fees, the court may enforce this provision. It’s important the provision is clear and unambiguous otherwise it won’t be enforced.

In addition, if a contract allows attorneys fees to only one party if they win (but not the other), Florida law mandates that all parties to the contract are entitled to fees if they win. Colorado, however, does not generally follow this rule.

Many Colorado statutes provide for attorney’s fees to the winning party. These include claims for civil theft, lawsuits against insurance companies for wrongfully denied benefits, certain breach of contract actions and claims for various fraudulent and deceptive practices.

It’s important to evaluate any claim for the potential recovery of attorney’s fees. These provisions in contracts and statutes are meant to encourage parties to act with good faith and assure the aggrieved party is not put in a worse position by having to file a lawsuit to enforce their rights.