How to get attorneys fees

In Richardson v. Wells Fargo, a mortgage servicer sought recovery of attorneys fees pursuant to a provision in the deed of trust that referred to “paying reasonable attorneys’ fees to protect its interest in the Property and/or rights under this Security Instrument.”  No. 13-10002 (Jan. 24, 2014).  The issue was whether a Rule 54(d)(2) motion was an appropriate vehicle to make its claim, which turned on “whether the fees are an element of damages or collateral litigation costs.”  The Fifth Circuit concluded this provision defined legal fees as collateral costs, not “an independent ground of recovery” where Rule 54 might become inapplicable.  The Court went on to hold that “motions for attorney’s fees provided by contract are permissible under Rule 54(d)(2)” after reviewing and rejecting authority that suggested otherwise.   (For thorough review of when fees become damages in their own right under Texas law, and other key points about fee awards, please consult  “How to Recover Attorneys Fees in Texas” by my colleagues Trey Cox and Jason Dennis.)

Recent Related Posts