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Amount of Attorney Fees to be Awarded by Contract Generally Decided by Trial Court, Not Jury - Appellate Practice News

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Appellate Practice News


Posted on: Feb 8, 2016

By Sam Laurin, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

One issue that arises from time to time is when  there is a jury trial on a breach of contract case and  the prevailing party is entitled to recover its attorney fees by contract.  Until the very recent decision in Cavallo v. Allied Physicians of Michiana, there was not much guidance from the appellate courts as to whether under this scenario the trial court or the jury decides the amount of attorney fees.  The decision in Cavallo  held that when attorney fees are claimed pursuant to a contractual provision and the parties have not agreed that the jury may decide the reasonable amount of attorneys’ fees, then the trial court must decide the amount of attorney fees to be awarded. The Court of Appeals' reasoning for its decision is very comprehensive and deserves a more detailed analysis beyond the space limitations of this publication.

This post was written by Sam Laurin of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Appellate Practice Section page, please email Rachel Beachy at rbeachy@indybar.org.

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