Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Attorney Fees

Recovering Attorney Fees for Defending Frivolous Claims

By Monte L. Mann & John Haarlow Jr.
September
2012
Article
Page 474
There are two routes to attorney fees for defending frivolous claims - a motion for Rule 137 sanctions and, rarely, a malicious prosecution claim. Here's a look at both.

Appellate court upholds order debarring rejection of arbitration award and assessing attorney fees

March
2012
Illinois Law Update
Page 132
The unexplained absence of a party to an arbitration made the award voidable but not void and accrued attorney fees because his attorneys had a professional obligation to be diligent in keeping track of dates and important information in relation to client matters.

Beyond the Billable Hour

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2012
Cover Story
Page 80
More clients - and lawyers for that matter - are looking for value-based alternatives to the billable hour. The good news? They can be a win-win for attorney and client.

Creditors Are Not Freeloaders: The Common Fund Doctrine Does Not Apply to Hospital Lienholders

By Robert D. Kreisman
November
2011
Article
Page 568
Wendling holds that hospital lienholders are creditors, not third-party beneficiaries of the plaintiff's lawsuit, and thus not required to pay attorney fees under the common fund doctrine.

Court affirms award of attorney’s fees in dissolution of marriage case

October
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 496
The court found that, despite Petitioner Kristina Baniak's claims, the lower court had subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case regarding attorney's fees and that Baniak had waived all other issues raised in her appeal.

The Five Biggest Business Mistakes Lawyers Make

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2011
Cover Story
Page 444
Too many lawyers - especially new ones - undervalue their services. It's a short-sighted approach that can lead to big trouble, this lawyer argues.

Executor and estate attorney ordered to repay excessive fees

August
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 388
Fees requested by an executor and attorney for administering an estate were not reasonable under the Probate Act, according to an Illinois Appellate Court.

Insurance company not required to pay attorney fees because actions were reasonable part of bona fide defense

March
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
On December 28, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District, granted a motion for summary judgment after an insured sought private attorney's fees from her insurance company in the wake of a car accident and the ensuing litigation.

Errors and Omissions

December
2010
Column
Page 606
In re Marriage of Zells and not-yet-paid contingency fees; Foreclosure and divorce; and Who was that legal assistant?

Is a Not-Yet-Paid Contingent Fee Marital Property?

By H. Joseph Gitlin
October
2010
Column
Page 542
A divorcing lawyer has earned a big fee but hasn't been paid. Is the fee award marital property?

Getting fees from the other side in divorce

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2010
LawPulse
Page 446

Thirty days for lawyers to file for fees and costs following withdrawal from representation. PA 096-0981

September
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 452
Illinois attorneys now have 30 days following their court-approved withdrawal from representation of a client to petition the court for the reasonable compensation for their services. (755 ILCS 5/27-2)

Now How Much Would You Pay? Avoiding Involuntary Pro Bono

By Karen Erger
August
2010
Column
Page 430
Remember, there's nothing unprofessional about getting paid

See comments from our readers

April
2010
Column
Page 170
Habitability warranty disclaimers; FOIA attorney fees; family law attorney fees

Attorney Fees in Domestic Relations Cases: The 2009 Amendments to “Leveling of the Playing Field”

By the Attorney Fees Committee of the ISBA Family Law Section Council
March
2010
Article
Page 136
Learn about important changes to the attorney fee provisions of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

“[M]ortal combat”: Carr v Tillery

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2010
LawPulse
Page 122
A legendary Metro-East trial lawyer and his former partners go head to head.

Federal courts have jurisdiction over legal malpractice claims in patent infringement cases

January
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On November 10, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County finding, in a legal malpractice suit, that the contingent fee arrangement between the parties was not void, and that jurisdiction over the malpractice claim rested exclusively with the federal courts. 

New statute clarifies family law attorney-fee provisions

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2009
LawPulse
Page 490

Coming January 1: New Rules of Professional Conduct

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2009
LawPulse
Page 386
Among other things, the new rules clarify that flat fees do not constitute frowned-upon "advance payment retainers," which is good news for most lawyers.

1099s for deadbeat clients?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2009
LawPulse
Page 10
 A law-office management expert puts forth the option of sending a nonpaying client a 1099 for the value of your services. Is it really OK to do so?

Correspondence from Our Readers

November
2008
Column
Page 546
Two takes on two-tiered billing.

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Paid

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2008
Cover Story
Page 558
Learn how to create a bill-paying culture among your clientele.

Two-Tiered Billing in Illinois Divorce Cases - a Critique

By James H. Feldman
September
2008
Article
Page 452
Illinois divorce lawyers typically charge a higher hourly rate for court than for office time. It's time that changed, the author argues

Engagement Letters, Fees and the Dowling Case

By David A. Berek & Fred R. McMorris
May
2008
Column
Page 262
Consult Dowling for guidance on fee arrangements and how to describe them in engagement letters.

Correspondence from Our Readers

January
2008
Column
Page 6
Labeling security retainers; order-of-protection abuse.

From Here to Retainer Fees

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2007
Cover Story
Page 636
Learn how to craft retainer agreements to define and clarify the scope of your engagement, why it’s important to collect fees up front, and more.

Initial consultations - satisfaction or your money back?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2007
LawPulse
Page 398
Should lawyers provide free consultations to prospective clients? Discounts to new clients? Refunds of a consult fee to clients who ask for one? ISBA lawyers offer their opinions.

Validity of advance payment retainers for attorneys upheld

July
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 348
On May 3, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirming the Circuit Court of Cook County's judgment ordering DLA Piper to turn over funds from an advance payment retainer paid by defendant Michael Davis.

The Illinois Supreme Court OKs advance payment retainers

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2007
LawPulse
Page 286
The court last month approved lawyers' use of the advance payment retainer, cautioning that more familiar retainer agreements will be the preferred option in most cases.

It’s official - you can’t collect fees for collecting your own fees

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2007
LawPulse
Page 286
As a matter of public policy, "lawyers representing themselves simply do not incur legal fees," the third district ruled recently.

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