Evidence to support attorney fee award

There was very little focus on the amount of the attorney’s fee award at trial.  What type of evidence did the other party need to prove to support an award of attorney’s fees?

The party seeking attorney’s fees and costs must plead and prove at the fee hearing (1) their need for attorney’s fees and costs; (2) the other party’s ability to pay attorney’s fees and costs; (3) that the hourly rate charged by their attorney is reasonable; (4) that the time expended by their attorney is reasonable; and (5) that the total amount of attorney’s fees requested are reasonable.  You will likely overturn a fee award on appeal if the aforesaid issues are not established.

It should be noted that there is no “second bite at the apple” when it comes to seeking attorney’s fees and costs.  If you or the other party fails to present the evidence requisite to an award of attorney’s fees and costs you do not get to do so at a subsequent hearing if the award is reversed on appeal.  This is especially important when it comes to establishing thatthe attorney’s fees sought were reasonable.  If there is not testimony that fees were reasonable the fee claim must be reversed and there should not be any further hearing on the fee claim.

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