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Tag Archives: Attorneys’ Fees

Civil Practice – Attorney’s Fees – Trade Secrets Act – First Impression — No Bad Faith Showing – Frivolous Proceedings Act – Copyright Act (access required)

Uhlig LLC v. Shirley Even though plaintiff’s claims against defendant Eventelope, LLC remained until plaintiff withdrew them just prior to submission of the case to the jury, plaintiff was substantially unable to complete the discovery which would have revealed the extent of Eventelope’s involvement in the misappropriation of trade secrets due to the parties’ disputes over the proper protocol for the examination of defendants’ electronic files.

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Insurance – Attorney’s Fees – Declaratory Judgment Action – Duty to Defend – Appeals – First Impression (access required)

Jessco, Inc. v. Builders Mutual Insurance Co. S.C. law permits an insured to recover attorney’s fees when the insured wins a declaratory judgment stating that its insurer breached its duty to defend. The court logically extends this case law to encompass attorney’s fees incurred by the insured when it successfully defends such a judgment on appeal.

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Fees OK’d for out-of-state lawyers  (access required)

A South Carolina lawyer can hire an out-of-state attorney who is not a member of the South Carolina Bar to assist in a case in federal court, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. Using the out-of-state lawyer to write a brief may not constitute a “special circumstance” that would render a fee award to the out-of-state lawyer “unjust” under the Equal Access to Justice Act, the court said. But whether engaging the services of an out-of-state lawyer is a violation of the Local Civil Rules for the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina is an open question. And until that question is answered, Spartanburg attorney Paul McChesney (pictured) – whose hiring practices figured prominently in the court’s deliberations — won’t hire any out-of-state help.

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Supreme Court: Appointed lawyers have constitutional right to fees (access required)

Although Jim Brown lost his battle for attorney’s fees at the South Carolina Supreme Court, he won the war for every other attorney in the state. The court rejected Brown’s appeal of Beaufort County Circuit Court Judge Carmen T. Mullen’s decision not to award him fees in excess of the $3,500 statutory limit for his representation of Alfonzo J. Howard, an indigent defendant who was charged in 2007 with armed robbery, kidnapping and first degree criminal sexual conduct. But the court accepted an amicus curiae brief filed by the South Carolina Bar in the case and, based on it, held “that the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is implicated when an attorney is appointed by the court to represent an indigent litigant. In such circumstances, the attorney’s services constitute property entitling the attorney to just compensation.”

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Civil Practice – Rule 68 – Attorney’s Fees — Award (access required)

Bosley v. Mineral County Comm’n A woman who sued defendant deputy after her suicidal husband shot himself when the deputy was trying to take him into custody for a psychiatric examination can collect $66,464 in attorney’s fees and costs, in addition to $30,000 under defendants‘ Rule 68 offer of judgment; although defendants’ Rule 68 offer of judgment for $30,000 made no mention of attorney’s fees or costs, the 4th Circuit upholds the fee award under 42 U.S.C. § 1988.

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