Attorney's Fee Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Attorney's Fee, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Attorney's Fee?

(n) Attorney’s Fee is the consideration agreed by the client, awarded by the court or applicable as per the existing provisions, payable to the Attorney for the legal representation or service rendered by them.

History and Meaning of Attorney's Fee

Attorney's Fee is a term that has been in use in the legal profession for centuries. It refers to the agreed-upon compensation for the services provided by an attorney. The payment of Attorney's Fee can either be fixed in the initial agreement between the attorney and the client or determined by the court as part of a settlement or verdict.

In the United States, the payment of Attorney's Fee is governed by the "American Rule," which states that each party in a legal dispute is responsible for their own legal fees unless the law or an agreement between the parties specifies otherwise. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as in cases of civil rights violations or when a contract includes a provision for the payment of Attorney's Fee.

Examples of Attorney's Fee

  1. A client hires an attorney to represent them in a divorce case. They agree to a fee of $300 per hour for the attorney's services.

  2. In a personal injury case, the court awards the plaintiff $50,000 in damages and orders the defendant to pay $10,000 in Attorney's Fee to the plaintiff's attorney.

  3. A small business owner signs a contract with their attorney, stating that they will pay a contingency fee of 25% of any monetary compensation received as a result of their legal representation.

Legal Terms Similar to Attorney's Fee

  1. Contingency Fee - A fee paid to an attorney only if they win the case and recover compensation for the client.

  2. Hourly Rate - A fee paid to an attorney based on the number of hours worked on the case.

  3. Retainer Fee - An upfront payment made by the client to the attorney to secure their services for a specific period of time.