One of the most often asked questions is “Can I recover my attorneys’ fees in this suit?” The general rule in American courts is that each party pays its own attorneys’ fees.
However, many state and federal statutes specifically permit an award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party. Federal claims that permit the award of attorneys’ fees include, among other, wage and hour claims, civil rights and age discrimination violations, family medical leave violations and claims for violation of family medical leave laws. North Carolina state statutes allows reasonable attorneys’ fees in the following types of business litigation:
- Claims under the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (N.C.G.S. § 75-16.1)
- Claims arising from notes, conditional sale contracts and other evidence of indebtedness (N.C.G.S. § 6-21.2).
- Frivolous lawsuits without any basis in law or fact (N.C.G.S. § 6-21.5).
- Claims arising from business contracts with reciprocal attorneys’ fees provisions (N.C.G.S. § 6-21.6
- Claims arising under a consumer credit sale (N.C.G.S. §§ 25A-21 & 25A-44)
- Claims alleging discrimination in business (N.C.G.S. § 75B-4)
The possibility of attorneys’ fees being awarded needs to be addressed at the earliest stage of any business dispute. There may be situations where a claim can be presented without risking an adverse attorneys’ fee award if the client is not successful. Our Business Litigation Attorneys can assess the strengths and weaknesses of claims and offer valuable advice on whether or not to pursue claims that allow attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party.
Our Business Dispute Attorneys can also provide valuable assistance in preparing business contracts that address attorneys’ fees. Including the correct language in a business contract avoids the disappointment from learning that your contract’s attorneys’ fees provision is unenforceable.
If you or our your business would like additional information about attorneys’ fees in Business Litigation and Disputes or have questions, contact Bill Cannon at Cannon Law, P.C. today.