By Samuel Laurin, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP
In the past two years, the Indiana appellate courts have issued several decisions addressing the award of attorneys’ fees in civil litigation. This is the first in an occasional series addressing these decisions. The first case that will be discussed is Cavallo v. Allied Physicians of Michiana, 42 N.E.3d 998 (Ind. Ct. App 2015). Cavallo decided that there is no right to a jury trial to determine the amount of a reasonableness of attorney’s fees to be awarded under contractual provision allowing a prevailing party to be awarded attorney’s fees. This is a significant holding because in the author’s experience, case law was less than clear on whether the amount of attorney’s fees to be awarded should go the jury. Relying primarily on Seventh Circuit case law, the Court of Appeals held that there was no right to a jury trial on the reasonableness of fees unless agreed to in the contract. Id. at 1005-1007. View the decision here.
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