Have legal fees ever been awarded from a motion that was withdrawn?
February 7, 2013 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for some memorandum of law wherein attorney fees were awarded in a subsequent motion for costs that were incurred in a previous motion that was (involuntarily) withdrawn. Has this ever happened?

Bonus points if it's a case in Vermont.

An example of where this might be applicable is when a Defendant delays the case such that the motion is withdrawn due to a time limit being exceeded. If the Plaintiff subsequently were to file a new motion and the Court granted the motions, what basis could the Plaintiff use to request legal fees from the previous involuntarily withdrawn motion?
posted by doomtop to Law & Government (10 answers total)
Is your request related to this extremely similar question you asked five months ago? If not, could you explain what's different about this question? If so, were you able to obtain legal advice?
posted by willbaude at 2:12 PM on February 7, 2013

I don't have a citation for you, but one ground for this would be what's known as a "Rule 11" motion (brought under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 or the Vermont state civil procedure rule 11). Rule 11 motions are designed, among other things, to seek sanctions for filings that have been "presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation."
posted by MoonOrb at 2:13 PM on February 7, 2013

Willbaude: yes, it is related. It is a different question. MeMail me and I'll explain the difference.

Unfortunately, no, I was not able to obtain legal advice of any merit due to financial constraints. I did file my requests and all of them have been granted, with the exception of the request for legal fees. The judge gave me 30 days to find anything precedent to support the request, hence this question.
posted by doomtop at 2:49 PM on February 7, 2013

You are specifically asking for a citation to legal authority which is good law in a specific legal jurisdiction. This would constitute legal advice under any definition of the term, and it is inappropriate to seek such advice in this forum.

Both this question and your last one indicate that you do not have as good a grasp over the terminology of civil procedure as you seem to think that you do. There is no such thing as an "involuntary withdrawal" of a motion. That's called "denying a motion."

Further, the American legal system follows what is known as the "American Rule," which states that the presumption is that each side is to bear its own legal costs. There is provision in the rules of civil procedure for the award of attorney fees in extreme cases, but the vast majority of the time fees are awarded, it's because there's a statute providing for such an award, e.g., federal civil rights cases pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 and copyright infringement actions. I will not venture to offer an opinion about your particular case, but I will say that courts awarding attorney fees in family law cases is exceptionally uncommon.

But all of that is likely irrelevant. The way I undersatnd it, you're pro se. You can't get attorney fees when you're pro se unless you are yourself an attorney.

Get yourself a lawyer, and stop asking for litigation advice on AskMe. Better yet, check Avvo. They're better set up to handle this sort of thing, and you can get in touch with a family law attorney in your jurisdiction that way.
posted by valkyryn at 2:50 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]

Here's the beauty part about the law. In my jurisdiction, a lot of what valkyryn said would be incorrect. Except the main point that you are asking for legal advice that no lawyer would (okay, should) give you over the internet, and which no non-lawyer can provide any better than you can yourself.

There are states with attorney's fees statutes. You may live in one. Definitely give Avvo a try.
posted by freshwater at 2:56 PM on February 7, 2013

I would advise consulting a lawyer in your jurisdiction. My view is that you're asking for legal advice that I can't give in this context.
posted by J. Wilson at 3:18 PM on February 7, 2013

Get a lawyer. If you can't afford one, see if there's a county or city or state law library in Vermont where you can do some research. Some areas of law have helpful form books or even prewritten motions for particular topics that you might be able to adapt to use for your purposes. It's not a substitute for a lawyer, but, if you aren't going to get a lawyer, I suppose it's better than nothing.
posted by Happydaz at 3:40 PM on February 7, 2013

In Oakland, the main downtown public library has a lawyer available for a brief period several days each week (if I recall correctly). Maybe something similar exists where you are? I have no answer to your specific question.
posted by slidell at 6:34 PM on February 7, 2013

Vermont Law School -- the only law school in Vermont -- has a legal clinic.
posted by terrapin at 5:23 AM on February 8, 2013

Probably no one is following this thread at this point, but just in case: I filed my own memorandum in support of my request for legal fees. As far as this specific question, I stated that the instant motion was due to the same violation as the previous motion and showed that it was simply a renewal of the same.

It seems my argument was persuasive enough for the judge, as my Motion for Attorney Fees was recently Granted even though I am now representing myself Pro Se; the question whether attorney fees were appropriate for a self-represented litigant was not an issue because I only requested attorney fees for when I was actually represented by attorney.

Unfortunately, not everyone always has the option to "get a lawyer".
posted by doomtop at 12:06 PM on July 10, 2013

« Older Sonographers, do you enjoy your job?   |   What to do about cramster.com? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.