Breach of contract attorney's fees can sometimes be recovered in the following situations:

  • A contract requires that the losing party pay for the other party's attorney's fees.
  • A state statute automatically awards the winning party coverage of his or her attorney's fees.

Lawsuit Costs

Although these costs are subject to change due to inflation, the following rates usually follow a lawsuit in Los Angeles, California:

  • Complaint filing fee of $320.
  • Motion filing fee of $40.
  • Depositions fee of $1,000 to $2,000 per day.
  • Copying fees of $200 or more.
  • Expert witness fee of $200 to $400 per hour.
  • Appeal filing fee of $700.
  • Potential fees upon losing a case.

The fee to file a complaint is paid to the court at the start of the lawsuit. The person being sued must also pay this fee upon his or her initial appearance in court.

When filing a motion, individuals often have to hire a third-party lawyer to file a motion with the courthouse, which costs an additional $50 to $100 per motion. There is often more than one motion filed per lawsuit.

It is possible to save money on depositions by interviewing the witnesses over a cup of coffee or lunch; however, the individual must get a written declaration or affidavit from the witness at that time. While an informal process can be done, it is most common to officially depose the witness by issuing a subpoena and setting up a time to meet with the witness as well as the defendant and his or her attorney. A court reporter must also be reserved.

The fees for a deposition add up because there are many additional costs that may be needed. For example, the court reporter costs roughly $1,000 or more per day. Furthermore, there is a chance that the individual may need to hire a videographer and/or an interpreter at an additional cost.

If the defendant has documents that the plaintiff needs, a bonded copy shop may need to be hired to set up copiers on site. The setup fee is often around $200 with an additional 10 to 40 cents charged per copy.

It is not uncommon for a lawsuit to need an expert to discuss topics that are not commonly understood by the average person. The cost for these testimonies can be anywhere from $200 to $400 per hour. The following are examples of an expert witness:

  • Engineers.
  • Economists.
  • Human resource expert.
  • Psychiatrists.
  • Accident reconstructionist.

When filing an appeal, the person filing may need to request a record for appeal from the court clerk, which can cost another couple hundred dollars. Furthermore, in some cases, a written transcript of a previous hearing may be needed, which can cost up to $1,000.

Often, an individual will be responsible for his or her opponent's fees on top of their own costs. In some cases, a court can require him or her to pay for his or her opponent's lawyers as well. Occasionally, the plaintiff's lawyer will cover some or all of the costs of the lawsuit; however, if the plaintiff wins, the lawyer acquires a percentage of the lawsuit's recovery. If a case is minor or petty, it is not likely that a lawyer will be willing to spend his or her resources on the lawsuit.

Attorney's Fees for a Breach of Contract

According to section 1717 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, the winning individual of a breach of contract lawsuit can file a motion with the court and be awarded the attorney's fees.

In the case Monster, LLC vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the court stated that it is up to the jury to decide whether or not the attorney's fees should be considered damages to the winning individual in a lawsuit regarding a breach of contract.

In 2008, Monster, LLC and Noel Lee, the company's founder, established a licensing agreement with Jimmy Lovine and Dr. Dre for the manufacturing and sale of the headphones, Beats By Dre. Later on, Lovine and Dre created Beats Electronics and established a second agreement with Monster, LLC that replaced the initial agreement. According to this new agreement, Beats Electronics had the right to end its licensing agreement with Monster, LLC if a third party purchased more than 50 percent of Beats Electronics.

If you need help with a breach of contract, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.