The ability to recover attorney fees in litigation is subject to a variety of statutes and case law that can resemble a minefield to the unwary or uninitiated. Whether a litigation matter is an attorney fee case or not is something that should be considered at the outset of engagement. How the attorney tracks his or her time and the level of specificity given to the work performed can be critical to the amount of the ultimate attorney fee recovery. Notwithstanding a big win at the courthouse, the client will be less than enamored with counsel if the attorney fee award is reduced because of block billing, lack of detail, duplicative effort by over-staffing the project, or a poor presentation at the attorney fee hearing – all of which are singularly within the attorney’s control. A successful attorney fee award is dependent on the attorney’s vigilant consideration of his or her billing practices from the outset and the careful presentation of evidence in support of a “reasonable fee.”
During this one-hour CLE presentation, McAfee & Taft trial lawyers Gerald Hilsher and Jessica Dickerson discuss the billing practices and trial presentation necessary to recover attorney fees and other litigation expenses as prevailing party, the strategic use of offers of judgment and counter-offers of judgment as a basis of awarding attorneys fees, and protection of an attorney’s fee through proper assertion of an attorney’s liens.