The attorney fee dispute practice area covers a range of matters where reasonable attorney fees and expenses are at issue. Below are 4 key areas where our members are retained:
Court Awarded Attorney Fees
In many areas of litigation (i.e. class actions and bankruptcy) attorney fees and expenses are awarded by the court. Some of these cases are the result of “loser pays" fee-shifting provisions. Fee-shifting provisions are becoming increasingly common in state and federal statutes as well as in contractual agreements.
Our fee experts are retained by fee-seeking and fee-challenging clients to support or challenge attorney fee requests in court. Our fee experts work with both prevailing and non-prevailing parties. Our fee experts provide expert declarations so prevailing attorneys can recover their fees. Our fee experts are also retained by non-prevailing parties to challenge prevailing party fees and expenses.
Attorney Fee Claim Litigation
Attorney fee claim litigation occurs when a law firm sues a former client to collect unpaid legal fees or when a former client sues a law firm for overbilling. Given the expense of litigation, the attorney fees at issue are usually millions of dollars.
Our attorney fee experts are retained to testify for and against law firms on the reasonableness and necessity of their fees and billing practices. Our fee experts provide expert reports, opinions, and testimony on the range of factors that determine reasonable attorney fees and proper billing practices.
Attorney Fee Dispute Mediation
Attorney fee disputes are often a result of a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship. Mediation is the quickest, simplest, and most cost effective way to resolve attorney fee disputes. Our program is designed to bring fee disputes to a finality.
NALFA offers a mediation program specifically designed to resolve attorney fee disputes of all sizes. Our fee dispute mediators are uniquely qualified to sit down with parties and settle a fee dispute in a cost effective and confidential manner. Our fee dispute mediators are trained neutrals who understand the underlying issues in fee dispute cases. They include former judges, seasoned litigators, and in-house counsel. NALFA uses a customized approach for each fee dispute case.
Legal Bill Review & Legal Spend Programs
Legal bill review and legal spend management programs are litigation management tools designed for corporate fee-paying clients. Many attorney fee and legal billing disputes arise from the insurance tripartite relationship where insurance companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year in defense costs.
Our fee experts work with both policyholder law firms and insurance defense firms. Our attorney fee experts are retained by both sides to defend billing rates and billing practices in insurance recovery cases. In addition, some of our members are hired by insurance carriers to establish systems and programs to better manage defense fees and costs.