Articles on Attorney Fees

Blown out of proportion By Michael G. Cortina Bench and Bar, May 2019 Crystal Lake Limited Partnership v. Baird & Warner Residential Sales, Inc. provides an interesting reminder regarding fee-shifting clauses and how courts should enforce them.
Billable hours: The necessary vs. the not so necessary By Arsenio L. Mims Federal Civil Practice, March 2019 It is imperative for attorneys to bill accurately, descriptively, correctly, efficiently, and with the utmost judgment to uphold the integrity and the standards of the legal profession.
Attorney fees and quantum meruit By Erin M. Sievers Workers’ Compensation Law, May 2018 The appellate court's recent decision in Abel Ponce v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission addresses the apportioning of attorneys’ fees between a law firm originally hired by the claimant and the successor law firm.
IRMO of Goesel: The Supremes have spoken! By Jeanne M. Reynolds Family Law, January 2018 The Illinois Supreme Court recently resolved the burning issue of whether or not earned attorney fees are subject to disgorgement.
Obtaining attorney fees in voluntary lawyer program cases By Gary L. Schlesinger Civil Practice and Procedure, July 2017 There are several cases in Illinois dealing with legal services’ attorneys collecting fees for representing legal services’ clients from an opposing client who has paid his or her own attorney.
The risks of using legal forms without attorney guidance… Episode # 37 By Michael J. Maslanka Real Estate Law, April 2017 If your clients ever ask if they can just prepare a form, you can honestly say that they can but that they do so at their own risk, and the cost of an attorney's fee to prepare the form for her or him is likely going to be a lot less than the fee for fixing a mistake that the do-it-yourself form may produce.
When to award attorney fees in divorce cases according to the Illinois Supreme Court By Rachael Bernal Family Law, April 2017 In In re Heroy, the Illinois Supreme Court recently tackled the question of whether and when to award attorney fees in divorce cases.
Is my bank client stuck paying for my fees to enforce a judgment? By Bradley W. Small Commercial Banking, Collections, and Bankruptcy, January 2017 Attorney fees and costs in obtaining a judgment are often included in the judgment, but what about the post-judgment costs and fees involved in enforcing the judgment?
Recovering post-judgment attorney fees – A practice pointer for transaction and litigation counsel By Thomas M. Lombardo Commercial Banking, Collections, and Bankruptcy, January 2017 The author identifies three critical steps to ensure that your client’s post-judgment attorney fees for collection activity are recoverable on top of the judgment itself.
Fee Petitions: Kaiser and beyond By James J. Ayres Bench and Bar, December 2016 Any attorney who has sought an award for attorney fees from the circuit court must be aware of the requirements of Kaiser v. MEPC Am. Properties, Inc. However, counsel should also be aware of Aliano v. Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Location, location, location: All you really need to know about disgorgement of fees By Rory T. Weiler Family Law, December 2016 In light of the difference of opinion between the First and Second District, practitioners in those two districts will find that the answer to the question of whether disgorgement is available depends principally upon where the divorce case is filed.
To disgorge or not to disgorge? By Zachary Williams Family Law, December 2016 With the recent decision in In re Marriage of Altman and Block, there is now a split in the Illinois Appellate Courts as to whether a trial court can order one attorney to disgorge earned fees in order to “level the playing field” between two parties, when neither party can afford to pay their attorney fees. 
Consent judgments for payment of attorney fees By Shannon L. Bradford Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2015 Although lawyers should seek out good clients, good cases, and efficient procedures, nonpaying clients are inevitable. The author provides sample consent judgments, which may provide an efficient solution to the problem.
McVey v. M.L.K. Enterprises: Proper calculation of the hospital lien By Hon. Daniel T. Gillespie & Jonathan P. Kuhn Civil Practice and Procedure, August 2015 In McVey v. M.L.K. Enterprises the Illinois Supreme Court overruled Stanton v. Rea and found, unequivocally, that the plain text of the Healthcare Services Lien Act requires that neither attorney’s fees nor costs be deducted before calculating the statutory maximum lien on plaintiff’s award.
Prevailing party versus nominal awards: A look at Aponte v. City of Chicago By Lisle A. Stalter Federal Civil Practice, June 2015 A judgment in favor of the plaintiff doesn't necessarily mean the plaintiff is a “prevailing party” for an award of attorney fees.
Small verdict, large attorney fee award: A look at prevailing attorney fees in federal civil rights cases By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, October 2014 The recent decision in Montanez v. Simon exemplifies how even a small verdict can result in a relatively large attorney fee award.
Choice of law can complicate collection of interest and attorney fees Business Advice and Financial Planning, July 2014 A look at some of the lessons from VLM Food Trading International, Inc. v. Illinois Trading Company.
Should there be a presumption favoring awards of attorney fees in copyright litigation? By William T. McGrath Intellectual Property, June 2014 Section 505 of the Copyright Act allows courts to award attorney fees to the prevailing party in a copyright case. Twenty years ago, the Supreme Court in Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc. held that courts should assess fees using an “evenhanded” approach rather than one favoring a prevailing plaintiff. The Court emphasized the importance of the “equitable discretion” of the district courts in awarding fees. But in recent years, the Seventh Circuit has called for “presumptive entitlement” of attorney’s fees to the prevailing party. This paper points out the number of problem with such a presumption, including the difference between a  presumption and an inference and the chilling effect on plaintiffs with legitimate claims.
Attorney fees provision in invoice binding on buyer (N.D. Illinois 2013) By Paul B. Porvaznik Commercial Banking, Collections, and Bankruptcy, December 2013 The Northern District recently weighed in on the fee-shifting-language-in-invoice question in VLM Food Trading International, Inc. v. Illinois Trading Co.
Reasonable attorney fees & ISBA Advisory Opinion No. 13-01 By Thomas Bransfield & Darrell Dies Trusts and Estates, May 2013 For those of you who represent representatives of decedent’s estates, the ISBA Advisory Committee Opinion No. 13-01 issued January 2013, is a must-read. This is part I of a two-part article looking at the opinion and its ramifications.
Attorney fees in administrative law? Yes, you can—but follow the statute By Carl R. Draper Administrative Law, February 2013 For agencies subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (most State agencies) litigants are to be awarded a full measure of attorney fees for any case where a court finds that the agency enforced a rule that is invalid for any reason.
Fee awards: Not a sure thing By Susan M. Brazas Trusts and Estates, February 2013 Attorneys should be cautious to file fee petitions or claims within the time prescribed by statute or court order, and should be prepared to address not just the statutory basis for fee awards but also any pertinent ethical or policy concerns.
Sharing fees, ownership of law firms with non-lawyers By Richard L. Thies Senior Lawyers, February 2013 An example of how the ISBA has been influential in defeating proposals from within and outside the profession that would have a damaging effect on the public and the profession.
1 comment (Most recent February 11, 2013)
Fee awards: Not a sure thing By Susan M. Brazas General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, January 2013 Attorneys should be cautious to file fee petitions or claims within the time prescribed by statute or court order, and should be prepared to address not just the statutory basis for fee awards but also any pertinent ethical or policy concerns.
Nye and Associates v. Boado: The Hudson Doctrine bars attorney fee claim By Hon. Patrick J. Leston Family Law, July 2012 The recent opinion in Nye and Associates, Ltd., v. Boado defines claim splitting and explains what it has to do with divorce law.
A review of attorney fees in probate court By Donald L. Shriver Trusts and Estates, January 2012 A look at the ethics of the legal and practical effects of In re Estate of Bitoy.
Attorney fees on MSA funds confirmed in N.J. By Brad E. Bleakney Workers’ Compensation Law, November 2011 The New Jersey Superior Court recently considered whether Medicare regulations and CMS allowed an attorney to recover attorney fees for creating a settlement obtained on behalf of a client in a civil suit from the Medicare set aside funds itself.
The unusual case—Plaintiff is stuck with defendant’s attorney fees By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, October 2011 A summary of the recent case of Matthews v. Wisconsin Energy Corporation, Inc.
$1 nominal damages award in civil rights case nets plaintiff’s attorney zero attorney fees By Michael D. Bersani & Zrinka Rukavina Local Government Law, September 2011 The recent Seventh Circuit case of Frizzell v. Szabo may undercut the ability of civil rights plaintiffs to leverage larger-than-deserved settlements.
Navigating the Attorney’s Fees and Wage Actions Act By Donald S. Rothschild & Brian M. Dougherty Labor and Employment Law, July 2011 The Fees Act is not your typical “prevailing party,” fee-shifting statute. Its inner workings are unusual and this article will explain how to comply with its requirements.

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