WHEN ARE ATTORNEY'S FEES RECOVERABLE IN LITIGATION

In Virginia, the prevailing party in an action is not entitled to recover attorneys' fees absent fraud, a specific statutory authority granting attorneys' fees, or a contractual provision providing for such an award. This is the "American Plan," every party pays her own lawyer. However, there are numerous specific Virginia statutes and rules of court that allow the court to award reasonable attorney's fees as court costs in particular types of suits, for example: 1. Civil cases under the Administrative Process Act, Va. Code § 2.2-4030. 2. Cases brought under the Freedom of Information Act, Va. Code § 2.2-3713. 3. Actions brought to enforce a lien for assessments on a condominium unit, Va. Code § 55-79.84(e). 4. Actions brought for failure to release a lien, Va. Code § 55-66.3. 5. A lessor can be liable for attorney's fees under the UCC for imposing unconscionable terms, Va. Code § 8.2a-108. 6. Actions to enforce land use restrictions by homeowners' associations, Va. Code § 55-515. 7. In partition suits where there are unrepresented shares, the court is required by statute to allow reasonable fees to the attorney bringing the action on account of the services rendered to the parceners unrepresented by counsel, Va. Code § 8.01-92. 8. Suits involving a bad faith refusal to pay an insurance claim, Va. Code §§ 8.01-66.1(D), 38.2-209(A), 38.2-807(A). 9. Litigation for violations of the Consumer Protection Act, Va. Code §§ 59.1-204(B), 59.1-206. 10. Litigation arising out of the Home Solicitation Sales Act, Va. Code § 59.1-68.3. 11. Litigation arising out of the Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, Va. Code § 59.1-207.14. 12. Litigation arising out of the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, Va. Code § 55-248.2. 13. Litigation arising out of Secured Transactions, Va. Code § 8.9A 101 et. seq. 14. If medical records are willfully withheld by a health care provider, Va. Code § 8.01-413(C). 15. Reasonable attorney's fees may be charged against a party who has given notice of the taking of a deposition and who then fails to appear himself or whose witnesses, not having been summoned, fail to appear.Va.Sup. Ct. Rule 4:5(g). 16. Unjustified conduct or motions relating to discovery may result in an award of compensatory attorney's fees.Va.Sup. Ct. Rule 4:12. 17. Attorney's fees may be granted to compensate a party for having to remove a suit to a proper forum or to defend against a frivolous motion to transfer to a convenient venue.Va.Code § 8.01-266. 18. Va. Code § 8.01-271.1 which requires attorneys and parties not represented by counsel to certify to the court that all pleadings and motions are made in good faith and not for any improper purpose. This statute, which follows Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 very closely, also requires the judge, if he or she finds a violation, to impose appropriate sanctions including reasonable attorney's fees upon the offending lawyer or party or both. 19. Va. Code § 18.2-500(a) provides that in an instance of conspiracy, the plaintiff may recover for "the costs of the suit, including a reasonable fee to plaintiff's counsel." Like this: Be the first to like this post.

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