Thursday, May 7, 2009

Award of Fees and Costs Pursuant to 57.105 Reversed

In Ainslee R. Ferdie, Law Offices of Ainslee R. Ferdie v. Isaacson (4D0-1212) the Fourth DCA reversed two circuit court orders requiring the former client and the law firm itself to each pay 50% of the opposing party’s attorneys’ fees. The Fourth DCA held "Because the trial court did not conduct an evidentiary hearing or otherwise make an express finding that the law firm was not acting in good faith, we must reverse the trial court’s order. We also reverse the trial court’s assessment of costs against the law firm because section 57.105 does not permit it."

The court also noted that an award of entitlement to fees is not an appealable order until the amount of the award is determined. "See Green v. Callahan, 664 So. 2d 21, 23 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995) (A party does “not waive his right to contest the issue of entitlement on appeal by failing to appeal the order granting entitlement to attorney’s fees, because the postjudgment order awarding fees was not appealable until the amount of fees was determined.”)


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