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NALFA: Three Types of Attorney Fee Disputes

February 5, 2015 | Posted in : Expenses / Costs, Fee Allocation / Fee Apportionment, Fee Dispute, Fee Scholarship, Fee Shifting, NALFA News, Prevailing Party Issues

NALFA has developed a practice area that centers on attorney fee disputes.  Generally speaking, attorney fee disputes are disputes between parties over the fees/costs associated with legal services rendered.  The nature of attorney fee disputes can vary in size, scope and parties involved, but at NALFA, we have officially categorized attorney fee disputes into three general types:

  1. Attorney-Client Fee Disputes:  These fee disputes occur when a fee-paying client(s) and an attorney(s) disagree over the fees/costs in an underlying action or transactional matter.  These fee disputes are the most common type and can be initiated by either side.
  2. Opposing Party Fee Disputes:  These fee disputes often occur in fee-shifting litigation when the non-prevailing party must pay the fees/costs of the prevailing party.  Typically, the party seeking fees/costs is challenged by the opposing side in court or arbitration.
  3. Attorney Allocation Fee Disputes:  These fee disputes occur among attorneys, working on the same side, over their share of fees/costs in a common fund in an underlying action.  This occurs when several law firms work on behalf of the same client or class in a large, complex case.