People in Nevada who have paid for a lawyer for work on a civil case may think they can ask the losing party to pay for their legal fees. However, those who expect compensation will most likely be disappointed, as there are only certain circumstances in which the court orders the other party to cover attorney fees for these types of cases.
According to the Cornwell Law Review, there are two schools of thoughts in regard to paying attorney fees. The English rule states that the losing party must pay for the winning party's fees, while the American rule requires each side to pay for their own lawyer, regardless if they lose or win. In the state of Nevada, the American rule is followed in the majority of civil cases, which means there is little chance of either party winning a motion for attorney's fees.
There are circumstances, however, in which the losing party is required to pay some or all of the winning side's fees. The Civil Law Self-Help Center discusses some of the situations in which this may occur. If the case takes place in justice court, the awarded costs often include reasonable lawyer's fees for the winning side. If a party is sued for statute violation, the state requires the winning party's attorney fees to be paid by the other side. Judgments of less than $20,000 and cases that were brought about to harass the other side may require attorney fees to be paid. Other times attorney's fees may be required to be paid by the losing side is when a contract states it or if the court has rules related to the recovering of fees.