Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Attorney's Fees on Motion to Reconsider

Yesterday, the Mississippi Court of Appeals decided Vincent v. Rickman located here.  To me, the interesting part of the case was that the chancellor was affirmed on awarding attorney's fees on a motion to reconsider.  Mr. Vincent was pro se so it is hard to gauge whether all of the proper legal arguments were raised at the hearing.  This opinion could be construed as allowing attorney's fees on the motion to reconsider where a party is found in contempt.  To me, the legal issue that I have not seen addressed which was also in the opinion is whether the party is entitled to the attorney's fees for the entire proceeding or just up until the contempt is purged?  In this case the entire fee was awarded and affirmed.  I have been able to argue in the past though that the party was only entitled to the payment of attorney's fees up to the purging of contempt.  What I have done to address this in the past is send the full payment and ask for an itemization of attorney's fees up until that date.  To me, that legally should cut off the bleeding but largely depends on the chancellor. 

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