Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Attorney’s Fees & Costs

Costs are almost universally allowed to the prevailing party.  N.R.S. 18.005.

Attorney’s fees: Nevada follows the “American Rule” which is that each pays his own attorney’s fees unless another statute of rule provides for the recovery of Attorney’s fees.  Statutes and rules that provide for recovery of attorney’s fees are more common for Plaintiffs than Defendants.

1504001 Gavel & Money 2 In District Court:
Under the right circumstances in District Court, Defendants can potentially recover their costs and attorney’s fees if a case is forced to trial.   Unless the “Offer of Judgment Strategy” is followed, if the Defendant prevails, he or she is entitled to costs only.  However, if the Plaintiff prevails, he can recover attorney’s fees if amount of recovery is $20,000 or less, plus costs.  N.R.S. 18.010.

If Defendants follow an “Offer of Judgment Strategy,” they can recover attorney’s fees as well as costs.  Recommended defense strategy: Make an Offer of Judgment as soon as possible when you enter litigation.  Make the Offer of Judgment for a set amount plus the costs.  That way, if you are forced to trial and you beat the Offer of Judgment, the judge’s task of determining whether you qualify to recover attorney’s fees will be made easier.

In Justice Court:
Attorney’s fees are treated as “costs” and therefore the prevailing party, Plaintiff or Defendant, can get their attorney’s fees, even if an offer of judgment is not filed.

In Small Claims Court:
Attorney’s fees are not allowed.

About Michael Mills

Mr. Mills practices in the area of civil litigation and appeals, with particular experience in matters involving trucking liability, insurance defense, insurance coverage, premises liability, products liability and defense of personal injury. Mr. Mills is a member of the Trucking Insurance Defense Association, the Defense Research Institute Trucking Committee and the Nevada Motor Transport Association. Mr. Mills is licensed to practice before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Utah Supreme Court. He is also licensed to appear before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Nevada and Utah, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Mills has created 3 Blogs for the benefit of the insurance industry. He serves as editor and publisher of the Nevada Insurance Law Blog, the Nevada Coverage and Bad Faith Blog and the Nevada Trucking Law Blog.

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