Friday, April 26, 2013

Attorneys Fees: The American Rule

Arkansas courts follow the "American Rule" with regard to attorneys' fees.  This means that, as a general rule, both parties to a lawsuit bear their own fees and costs.  To first-time litigants, this rule often seems unfair.  However, there are numerous exceptions to this rule involving statutes that permit a prevailing party to request judgment against the other party for fees incurred in the defense or prosecution of his or her case.   Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help his or her clients soften the impact of the American Rule by carefully crafting his or her client's claims so that they fall within these statutes.  Such claims include, for example:
photo credit: kbjesq
  1. Actions for collection on an open account
  2. Actions on a promissory note
  3. Actions for breach of a written contract
There are many other causes of action where a statute allows the prevailing party to petition the court for his fees.  A business can also protect itself by inserting a mandatory fee provision in its contracts.  An experienced attorney can help your business maximize its recovery in litigation--including the recovery of fees spent protecting your rights.