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Empower Your Arbitrator to Allocate or Award Attorneys' Fees

by Eugene J. Heady
Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP - Atlanta Office

April 11, 2014

Previously published on April 7, 2014

Claims and disputes involving construction projects tend to be technically complex and factually intensive. As a result, the resolution of construction claims and disputes can be time consuming and costly. In prosecuting or defending claims, one question that always arises is “Can I recover my attorneys’ fees if I win?” The traditional “American Rule” is that the winning party—referred to as the “prevailing party”—may not recover attorneys’ fees unless recovery is statutorily or contractually authorized via a “fee-shifting” or “prevailing party” attorneys’ fees provision. Under the American Rule, each litigant must pay its own attorneys’ fees. If there is a statutory or contractual fee-shifting provision in play in a lawsuit then the judge will sort out the respective rights of the litigants. Another question that arises is “Who sorts out the attorneys’ fees issue if I arbitrate my construction claim rather than litigating the claim in a court proceeding?”


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

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