Q:

Can I sue for lawyer's fees if the other person lost the case for a protective order?

A:

Quick Answer

It is possible to sue another party for legal fees, but winning such a case may prove difficult. According to Nolo, under the legal concept of American Rule, there is no requirement for a losing party in a case to pay the legal fees of the winning party. This rule is in place so that no one is deterred from bringing lawsuits out of fear of paying expensive attorney fees.

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Full Answer

In the United States, American Rule is followed in most legal cases. The three exceptions to this rule are contractual provisions, statutory provisions and equitable remedies, notes Nolo. In some circumstances, two parties have signed a legally binding contract in which both have agreed that the losing party must pay the winning side's legal fees. However, judges are allowed to make changes to contract terms that may reduce or eliminate fee payment.

Statutory provisions are laws that may require the loser of a case to pay the legal fees of the other party. These are usually government cases involving a violation of state or federal law. According to Nolo, judges may decide to have a losing party pay legal fees in the name of fairness. In this case, the fee is an equitable remedy.

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