Prevailing Party Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Prevailing Party?

The party to the lawsuit in whose favour the verdict has been pronounced, thereby, titled as the winner of the case. The prevailing party has the right to claim the legal fees that he/she has met while the trial and hearing was in process.

History and Meaning of Prevailing Party

The term "prevailing party" is a legal concept used in civil litigation cases in which there is a dispute between two parties. It refers to the party that wins the case or the party that the court considers successful in some or all issues concerned. This legal term allows the successful party to recover their legal fees and other expenses incurred during the legal proceedings. The objective of this concept is to ensure the successful party is not forced to bear all the litigation costs involved in going to trial.

Examples of Prevailing Party

  1. In a personal injury case where the plaintiff is awarded $50,000 in damages when initially seeking $100,000, the defendant would be considered the "prevailing party".
  2. In a divorce case where one spouse is seeking alimony, but the court finds that they are not entitled to it and denies their request, the other spouse is the "prevailing party".
  3. In a contract dispute where both sides have requested damages, but the court only awards damages to one party, the party that received the damages would be considered the "prevailing party".

Legal Terms Similar to Prevailing Party

  1. Attorney's Fees: The legal costs incurred while hiring a lawyer for a case.
  2. Litigation costs: The total expenses of a lawsuit, including attorneys' fees, court fees, and other related expenses.
  3. Settlement: An agreement reached between parties in a legal dispute, ending the need for a trial.