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Attorneys' Fees in Arbitration

Henry F. Minnerop and Kimberly A. Johns
The Business Lawyer
Vol. 61, No. 2 (February 2006), pp. 589-606
Published by: American Bar Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40688353
Page Count: 18
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Attorneys' Fees in Arbitration
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Abstract

It is a long-standing principle of American law, the American Rule, that a prevailing party in a litigation is not entitled to an award oj attorneys' fees except (i) where authorized by statute, (ii) where the parties have agreed that the prevailing party should be awarded attorneys' fees, or (ii) where the court concludes that one of the litigants has acted in bad faith. Although this principle is well established and applied with consistency in court actions, it is often stretched, modified, or ignored in arbitration proceedings. This article focuses on the vagaries of attorneys' fees awards in arbitration proceedings and the decidedly hesitant review of such awards by the courts under the doctrine of manifest disregard of the law. The authors conclude with a number of recommendations aimed at avoiding the issuance of unintended attorneys' fees awards in arbitration proceedings.

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