In the United States, a party to a case pays their own attorney fees, but in England and most of the western world, the losing party in a case pays the attorney fees for both sides.

Who should pay attorney fees: the losing party or the attorney’s client? R. Hugh Lumpkin of Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A. compares the American rule to the English rule and discusses its impact on American law.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no particular legal or public policy positions. All opinions expressed are those of the speaker.

Learn more about R. Hugh Lumpkin:


Related Links & Differing Views:

Berkeley Law Scholarship Repository: “Does the English Rule Discourage Low-Probability-of-Prevailing-Plaintiffs”

Manhattan Institute: “Greater Justice, Lower Cost: How a ‘Loser Pays’ Rule Would Improve the American Legal System”

Indiana International & Comparative Law Review: “Attorney Fee-Shifting in America: Comparing, Contrasting, and Combining the ‘American Rule’ and ‘English Rule’”

Cornell Law Review: “The English Rule versus the American Rule on Attorney Fees: An Empirical Study of Public Company Contracts”