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Special Circumstances Exception to Attorney Fees

There are exceptions to the general rule that a party/litigant must cover its attorney fees in litigation regardless of the outcome. The exceptions are when (1) fees are authorized by statute or contract, (2) very unusual circumstances exist so it may be said equity demands a balance of benefits, (3) the fees result from an […]

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LLC Derivative Action Attorney Fees

A derivative action in limited liability company (“LLC”) litigation is generally when a member (i.e., owner) brings an action against the manager or managing member for causing a loss to the LLC. The action is “derivative” in that the member is suing on behalf of the LLC to recover an injury that the LLC sustained. […]

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“Prevailing Party” in Contractual Attorney Fee Dispute

Parties to a lawsuit are usually responsible for their attorney fees, whether they win or lose. The only thing that changes this in Missouri is if there is a statute or contract which provides that a certain party receives his/her/its attorney fees. Link v. Kroenke, 909 S.W.2d 740, 747 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995). With respect to […]

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Attorney Fees in a Divorce

A litigant is typically responsible for his/her own attorney fees in a lawsuit. This frequently has the practical effect of making litigation not so much about the merits of a case, but, instead, more about the cost of enforcement or defense versus the likelihood of success and exposure at trial. In Missouri, the two main […]

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Prevailing Party, Breach of Contract Attorney Fees

Parties are usually responsible for their own attorneys fees, unless a contract or statute provides otherwise. A common clause in contracts will provide that the “prevailing party” in any dispute pertaining to the contract, including a breach of contract action, will, in addition to its contractual expectancy damages, be entitled to recover their reasonable attorney […]

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Attorney Fees in Trust Litigation

The decision  to award attorney fees to a party in a judicial trust dispute/matter is discretionary. Section 456.10-1004, RSMo, provides that in a “proceeding involving the administration of a trust, the court, as justice and equity may require, may award costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, to any party, to be paid by another […]

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Prevailing Party Attorney Fees in the Merchandising Practices Act (“MPA”)

The MPA is an extraordinarily broad statute intended to protect consumers. It  loosens the rigid requirements for traditional common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, product liability claims, etc. To further its objectives, the MPA statutorily authorizes reasonable attorney fees to a “prevailing party” in MPA litigation. “Missouri has adopted the American Rule; that is, absent statutory […]

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Attorney Fees: Can I Make the Other Side Pay Them?

Attorney fees is the elephant in the room litigants usually do not immediately consider before delving deeper and deeper into litigation. It is quite common that economic circumstances, and not necessary the merits of a given case, determine whether to file/settle/dismiss a case. Would you spend $5,000 in legal fees in order to obtain $100 […]

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