Are you Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees if You Prevail in a Lawsuit?
As business lawyers, we get a lot of questions about contract law and how to better protect your business from legal risks. I’ll be sharing some of the most frequent and important topics with you over the next month. For example, many people think that the winner of a lawsuit in Florida automatically has their attorneys’ fees covered by the loser of the case, but this isn’t always true. It actually comes down to what’s in your contract.
Florida law is clear that each party to a lawsuit must bear their own attorneys’ fees and costs UNLESS a contract or a statute specifically authorizes the “prevailing” party to recover their fees from the “non-prevailing” party. Basically, the courts decide who is the prevailing party, and can even decide that nobody “prevailed” in a particular case, and no fees are awarded at all.
Businesses that utilize contracts are often at an advantage over a consumer when it comes to the terms of their business relationships. Having a clause in a contract that specifies your company’s entitlement to litigation costs and expenses, including attorneys’ fees and court costs, is a smart move for any business. But be careful in drafting that clause – it will be strictly interpreted as it is written. If it isn’t clear exactly what is being included, attorneys’ fees may not be recoverable.
Here at Wyman Legal Solutions, we review our business clients’ contracts and make sure they contain the most thorough, expansive, and enforceable attorneys’ fees provisions. We do this so that our clients can protect their rights to recover litigation expenses and attorneys’ fees to the fullest extent of Florida law.
Need a Florida business lawyer to review your business contracts? Contact us today! We can check your contracts for attorneys’ fee provisions, or for any other important terms, provisions or clauses, and make sure your business is protected.