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Attorney's Fees in Breach of Contract Cases

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When Can I Recover Attorney's Fees in a Breach of Contract Case?

In a breach of contract lawsuit, courts generally do not make the losing party pay for the winning parties' attorney's fees.  However, there are exceptions.  If you are the prevailing party in an action for breach of contract, you may be able to recover reasonable attorney's fees in addition to the other damages that the court will award you if the contract provided for such an award or there is a state statute.

Contract Provides for Award of Attorney's Fees

You will generally be able to recover attorney's fees in a breach of contract case where the contract itself explicitly states that in the event of such a lawsuit, the losing party will have to pay for the other party's attorney's fees.  This award is not automatic, and there are several exceptions that vary from state to state.    

Statute Provides for Award of Attorney's Fees

In some states, attorney's fees may be mandated by statute, meaning that they are automatically awarded to the prevailing party according to the law, provided that the winning party:

  • prevails in court and is awarded damages for the breach;
  • presents evidence that the fees incurred in the case were reasonable;
  • satisfies any requirements that the court may have for how this evidence is to be presented

Should I Contact an Attorney About My Contract Dispute?

Contracts are a complicated area of the law.  Each state has different rules about the timing and procedure for filing breach of contract claims.  If you are involved in a dispute over a contract that you have entered into, you should contact a business attorney who can help preserve your rights and pursue any legal remedies available to you.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 03-13-2018 02:46 AM PDT

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