Recovering Legal Fees

Under Florida law, attorneys’ fee may only be recovered by a successful civil litigant if authorized by a contract between the litigants or authorized by a specific statute such as Florida’s fair employment laws. Unless authorized by contract or statute, each party pays their own legal fees regardless of whether the party is sucessful at trial.

Even when a recovery of attorneys’ fees is recoverable by the prevailing party, the judge has discretion as to the amount of legal fees to be awarded. The judge will consider a number of factors including:

1. The time and labor required, the novelty and complexity of the legal issues and the skill required of the attorney.

2. The likelihood that the acceptance fo the particular representation will rpeclude other employment by the lawyer.

3. The fee customarily charged in the locality.

4. The amount involved and the results obtained.

5. The time limitations imposed by the client or the circumstances.

6. The nature and lenght of time of the professional relationship between client and lawyer.

7. The experience, reputation and skill of the lawyer.

8. Whether the fee is fixed or contingent upon the outcome.

When meeting with an attorney, be sure you have a good understanding of how the legal fees will be paid and whether you can recover your legal fees if you are successful in the litigation.