American Rule

News & Analysis as of

Locke Lord QuickStudy: The Supreme Court Considers “Fees For Fees”

Lawyers in probate and fiduciary matters, and in bankruptcy and receivership matters, are frequently entitled to seek payment of their fees from a corpus of trust or estate funds. Unlike in employment litigation and civil...more

Is Your Liquidated Damages Provision Sufficient to Make You Whole?

The obvious purpose of a liquidated damages provision is to make your client whole in the event that your business partner breaches the agreement. Nevertheless, K.G.M. Custom Homes. v. Prosky highlights that simply having a...more

Recovery of Attorneys' Fees in Arbitration: A Trap For the Unwary

The so-called “American Rule” generally requires each party to a lawsuit to bear its own costs and attorneys’ fees in the absence of a statute or contract to the contrary. Likewise, there is no inherent power or implied...more

Blog: CII And Pension Funds Make Their Voices Loud And Clear Over Fee-Shifting Bylaws

As noted in this Reuters post, the Council of Institutional Investors, along with a number of individual pension funds and other institutional investors, have chimed in on the debate currently roiling the Delaware bar over...more

Do Some Companies Already Have Fee-Shifting Provisions (And Not Know It)?

A lot of folks these days are arguing and writing about fee-shifting bylaws as if they were some kind of novel and sudden irruption, like Athena bursting from Zeus’ skull. This overlooks the existence of fee-shifting...more

One-sided “Shareholder Pays” Provisions Approved For Corporate Bylaws

The “American Rule.” To the uninitiated, that name probably conjures up fuzzy feelings of independence. The hardy spirit of our forefathers. Bootstraps and grit. Rocky IV. But to American lawyers, it’s just a rule about...more

Interfere at Your Own Risk: Legal Fees Awarded as Damages for Violating A Non-Compete Agreement

We all know the default American Rule for attorneys’ fees: unless you get fees in a contract or from a statute, you shouldn’t count on someone else paying the freight if you win your case. But a recent non-compete case brings...more

Using Corporate Bylaws and Charters to Set the Rules for Shareholder Litigation

Recent court decisions, including the Delaware Supreme Court’s opinion earlier this month in ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund, have focused new attention on the use of corporate bylaws and charters to establish the...more

Paradigm Shift? The Delaware Supreme Court Allows Bylaw That Shifts Attorneys’ Fees to Loser in Fiduciary Duty Litigation

Under the prevailing “American rule,” shareholders and their counsel face little financial risk when they assert claims against directors and officers for breaches of fiduciary duty, typically following the announcement of a...more

International Litigation Update: Second Circuit Clarifies Rules Governing Extraterritorial Application of RICO and Definition of...

In a series of recent decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has sought to restrict plaintiffs’ ability to apply U.S. law to, and to bring claims in the U.S. courts based on, extraterritorial conduct. In Morrison v. National...more

Delaware Non-Stock Corporations May Adopt Bylaws That Shift Fees To Unsuccessful Plaintiffs In Intra-Corporate Litigation

On May 8, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court held that, under Delaware law, fee-shifting provisions in non-stock corporations’ bylaws can be valid and enforceable (“facially valid”) and may be enforced if not adopted or...more

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