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August 31 - Newsblog #1
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Homeowner and Wife Sue over Police Shooting
September 7 - Newsblog #2
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Homeowner’s Possession of Handgun Legal Under 2nd Amendment
September 14 - Newsblog #3
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: if a Government or Government Agency is at Fault, You Can Sue
September 21 - Newsblog #4
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Lawsuit Against Police Department Invokes the Civil Rights Act
September 28 - Newsblog #5
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: a Clear Line from the Action – or Inaction – to the Injury
October 12 - Newsblog #6
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Police Insensitivity Turns Traffic Stop into a Travesty
October 19 - Newsblog #7
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Police Who Abuse Power Must Be Held Accountable, Law Professor States
October 26 - Newsblog #8
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Holding Overly Aggressive Police Accountable
November 2 - Newsblog #9
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Brown Vs. Impd Case About Much More Than Punishment or Money
November 9 - Newsblog #10
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Improper Medical Diagnosis and Care Resulted in Loss of an Eye
November 16 - Newsblog #11
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Medical Malpractice Claims Have a Front End and a Back End
November 30 - Newsblog #12
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Truths About Medical Malpractice
December 7 - Newsblog #13
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Yes, You Can Sue City Hall
December 14 - Newsblog #14
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Slip and Fall Changes Two Lives Forever
December 28 - Newsblog #15
In the News: Ramey & Hailey Year in Review
January 4 - Newsblog #16
In the News: Teen’s Sexual Abuse Case Calls Attention to the Problem
January 11 - Newsblog #17
In the News: Parents of Survivor Sue Parents of Shooter
January 18 - Newsblog #18
In the News: Erin Brockovich Teams Up with Indiana Moms
January 25 - Newsblog #19
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Case Settled in Favor of Catastrophic Slip and Fall Injury Victim
January 31 - Newsblog #20
In the News: Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Rehab Facility
February 8 - Newsblog #21
In the News: Nurse Arrested in Sexual Abuse Case
February 15 - Newsblog #22
In the News: Running the Clock on Indiana Medical Malpractice
February 22 - Newsblog #23
In the News: to Repeal or Not to Repeal – Indiana Legislators Rule “not”
March 1 - Newsblog #24
In the News: Helping Physicians Keep Helping
March 8 - Newsblog #25
In the News: Parents of Brain-damaged Infant Sue Hospital
March 15 - Newsblog #26
In the News: Owner of Gun Wins Decision
March 22 - Newsblog #27
In the News: Indiana House Passes Long Term Care Protections Bill
April 5 - Newsblog #28
In the News: Slip-and-fall Victim Wins Right to Sue Dollar Tree
April 12 - Newsblog #29
In the News: Inspection Report Shows Vets Harmed at 52 Nursing Homes
April 19 - Newsblog #30
In the News: Sandwich Diversion Causes Fatal Two-semitrailer Crash
April 26 - Newsblog #31
In the News: Does Premises Liability Cover Goose Attacks?
May 10 - Newsblog #32
Two-week-old N.y. Verdict Offers Takeaways for Slip and Fall Victims
May 17 - Newsblog #33
In the News: Barrel Blast Triggers Wrongful Death Lawsuit
May 24 - Newsblog #34
In the News: when a Product Manufacturer is Not at Fault
May 31 - Newsblog #35
In the News – College Doc’s Sexual Abuse of Students Coming to Light
June 7 - Newsblog #36
In the News – One Week, Four Motorcycle Accidents
June 14 - Newsblog #37
List of Troubled Nursing Homes Released
June 21 - Newsblog #38
In the News: Kansas No-caps Ruling Changes Personal Injury Climate
June 28 - Newsblog #39
In the News: Jury Awards $10.5 Million for Pain and Suffering in Birth Injury Case
July 5 - Newsblog #40
In the News: More Indicted in Last Year’s Duck Boat Tragedy
July 17 - Newsblog #41
In the News: Richard Hailey on Litigation Team for Lawsuit Vs. Tesla
July 24 - Newsblog #42
In the News: Malpractice Lawsuit Yields Largest Award in History
August 28 - Newsblog #43
In the News: Trucks V. Passenger Cars – Score 18:116. Everybody Loses
December 4 - Newsblog #44
In the News: High School Chaplain Suspended on Allegations of Sexual Abuse
December 11 - Newsblog #45
In the News: Franklin, Indiana Continues to Face Toxic Waste Problem
December 11 - Newsblog #46
In the News: Franklin, Indiana Continues to Face Toxic Waste Problem
December 18 - Newsblog #47
In the News: Parents of Bus Accident Victim Awarded $20 Million
January 8 - Newsblog #48
In the News: Parents Sue After Daughter’s Brain Damaged in Surgery
January 10 - Newsblog #49
In the News: Trucking Accidents Due to Careless Driving Increase
January 29 - Newsblog #50
In the News: Trucking Accidents Due to Careless Driving Increase
February 19 - Newsblog #51
Indiana Authorities Buy More Time to Prosecute Child Abusers
February 26 - Newsblog #52
In the News: Teen Brain-injured at Birth Awarded $15.1 Million
March 4 - Newsblog #53
In the News: Did Connecticut School Officials Turn a Deaf Ear to Sexual or Physical Abuse?
March 18 - Newsblog #54
In the News: Facility Held to Blame for Medical Treatment Delivered in a Careless and Negligent Manner
April 1 - Newsblog #55
In the News: Emergency Measures Instituted in Indiana’s Judicial System
April 8 - Newsblog #56
In the News: Medical Malpractice Limits Challenged in California
April 15 - Newsblog #57
In the News: Indiana Supreme Court Issues Five Orders for Legal Proceedings
May 6 - Newsblog #58
In the News: Nursing Homes with Covid-19 Cases Have Been Violating Federal Infection Control Rules for Years
May 13 - Newsblog #59
In the News: Physician Not Negligent in Choosing One Treatment over Another
May 20 - Newsblog #60
In the News: Nursing Homes with Covid-19 Cases Have Been Violating Federal Infection Control Rules for Years
June 17 - Newsblog #61
In the News: Ruling Reverse on Police Shooting – New News, Old Story?
July 8 - Newsblog #62
In the News: What is This Thing Called Qualified Immunity?
July 15 - Newsblog #63
In the News: Sooner or Later for Virus-delayed Jury Trials
July 29 - Newsblog #64
In the News: Truck Driver Sentenced, Another Charged in Fatal Crashes
August 5 - Newsblog #65
In the News: Double-booked Doctors Cause Personal Injury to Patients
August 12 - Newsblog #66
In the News: Double-booked Doctors Cause Personal Injury to Patients
August 26 - Newsblog #67
In the News: $4.9m Auto Accident Settlement Teaches Many Lessons
September 2 - Newsblog #68
In the News: Negligence Unmasked at Pennsyvania Trial
September 9 - Newsblog #69
In the News: Double-booked Doctors Cause Personal Injury to Patients
October 7 - Newsblog #70
In the News: Heart Rhythm Drug Poisoned Patient’s Lungs
October 14 - Newsblog #71
In the News: Prisoner Vs. Prison – a Tale of Two Medical Negligence Lawsuits

Litigation Newsletter

Payment of Litigation Costs and Fees

Many people embark on a lawsuit without taking into consideration all possible consequences. Litigation can be very costly and not all the costs are obvious. Most expect the costs of hiring an attorney and make payment arrangements, usually payable based on an hourly fee schedule or on a “contingency” basis (i.e., the lawyer is paid only if successful, usually out of any judgment or settlement).

Many states require that attorneys and their clients enter into written agreements regarding the representation. These contracts disclose that, generally, the client is obligated to pay certain costs and fees related to the lawsuit, regardless of the arrangement for the attorneys’ fees. The obligation to pay costs and fees exist whether the case is won or lost and even if the client decides not to pursue the case after it has already been filed.

Recoverable “Fees and Costs” by Prevailing Parties

In most states, and the federal courts, the prevailing party in any lawsuit is entitled recover certain costs and fees from the losing party. What costs are recoverable is usually set by state and federal laws and/or rules of procedure. Common items may include:

  • Fees for filing documents with the court, e.g., for the complaint, answer, etc.
  • Fees for “serving” the complaint or other documents on opponents. Process servers or certain authorities (such as U.S. Marshals) may be hired to personally deliver these documents and then file a sworn statement attesting to the service with the court. It is this personal “service” that, in part, gives the court jurisdiction over the parties to the action.
  • Certain charges associated with depositions (i.e., recorded questioning under oath outside court). Commonly, the cost of obtaining a copy or copies of the transcript is recoverable, while in some courts fees paid to the witness for attendance and travel expenses of a party and attorney, plus the actual costs for the reporter in a deposition, may be recovered.
  • Costs of transcripts for court proceedings, including trial.
  • The costs of exhibits and copying exhibits for use at trial.

Determining the Prevailing Party and Filing to Recover Costs

It is not always clear who the prevailing party is. A plaintiff who receives a judgment in his or her favor is usually the prevailing party, as is any defendant found not to have any liability. Where neither party is totally successful, sometimes the court will declare the prevailing party, partly to clarify who can collect their costs from the other party. If the plaintiffs (i.e. those filing the suit) dismiss the lawsuit, with or without the right to file again at some later time, in many states, the other parties are considered to have “prevailed.” It there is a settlement, usually all parties will agree to bear their own costs or may include a provision specifying who must pay certain costs in the settlement agreement.

Within a period of time specified in applicable law and procedures, the prevailing party must file documents with the court (called a “memorandum of costs” in many states) requesting payment of allowable fees and costs. The other party then has a period of time to file objections. The court then makes a determination and award that may be enforceable as a judgment.

Attorneys’ Fees

There are those who mistakenly believe that winning a lawsuit means that the opponent will pay for everything, including attorneys’ fees. In many countries, the losing side in a lawsuit must pay the winning side’s costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees. However, this is not the rule in the United States. Advocates argue that imposing such a rule would discourage plaintiffs from bringing meritless, frivolous lawsuits. Others point out that this would effectively bar the poor from the courts and favor those with greater financial resources.

In the U.S., there is no right to recover attorneys’ fees absent special circumstances, such as a statute authorizing recovery (e.g., there is a statute that authorizes taxpayers to recover attorneys’ fees from the IRS under certain circumstances) or a contractual clause that authorizes recovery by the prevailing party in any lawsuit over the contract. As with the recovery of costs, the prevailing party must usually bring a motion to recover attorneys’ fees (separate from the request for costs) within a specified period of time. The opposing party has a right to object and the court makes the award (usually after determining what is “reasonable”).

Conclusion

The danger is clear; plaintiffs may end up recovering nothing, still have to pay their own costs (and possibly attorneys’ fees) and may also have to pay for their opponents costs (and, in some cases, attorneys’ fees).

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