The Basics for Preparing a Petition Seeking Attorneys' Fees


Several issues should be considered by counsel prior to beginning the task of drafting a petition seeking an award of attorneys’ fees. Obviously, the applicant must be entitled to a fee award. Most frequently, entitlement to an award arises under a contract, a statute or case law granting the right to attorneys’ fees. Regardless of the authority for an award, it is critical for the applicant to understand that the burden of proof will lie with the petitioner in establishing the amount, necessity and reasonableness of the fees incurred. Under the Supreme Court authority of Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424 (1983) the fee claimant has the burden of proving that the fees requested were both reasonable and necessarily incurred.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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