Are you looking into how to get awarded costs in court? Judges awarding lawyer fees happens all the time in the family law court. This article talks about family law court, but it’s the same for Superior Court or Supreme Court.
The judge in the family law case will look at which lawyer had the most success with arguing their position. Also, the judge will look at how hard the case was for the lawyer to prove.
Further, they will look at how much damage an award for legal costs will be to a party. Further, a judge most often does not want to punish one of the parties. Instead, they want to reimburse (at least partly) the person who was right.
If one of the parties was acting improperly or did something bad, the judge might want to make an example of them. For example, if one party did something with the sole purpose of increasing the other side’s legal fees, then the judge should award costs.
If one party broke a contract, then the other side might have to start a lawsuit. Therefore, the person who had to start the lawsuit should have their legal costs reimbursed.
Some judges rarely award costs. Other judges seem to enjoy awarding large costs to any party that wins. It really depends on the judge. Sometimes the judge will award a small number of costs, such as $500.
Other times the judge will award large amounts of costs, such as $20,000. Further, the rules for awarding costs are different in the provincial and supreme court.
What Are Court Costs?
Costs are normally regarding lawyer fees. People often hire lawyers and ask them to go to court. You can also seek disbursements. This can include transcript costs, mediation costs, printing, serving, and there are many more.
These costs can be in the thousands of dollars. You can seek lawyer fees and disbursements as court costs if you win a hearing or trial.
If you don’t have a lawyer, you might be able to get some costs awarded. You can also seek out to a lawyer or paralegal for legal coaching, and ask the judge for a court order for those expenses.
Let’s say you win a $50,000 judgment in a superior court, and you spent around $10,000 in legal costs. Maybe you will get a court costs order for $5000. It is rare that you get all of your legal costs reimbursed.
Other times, you might win overall, but you don’t have a complete win. In this case, you might only get $3000. The winning side can sometimes have to pay the cost of the losers.
This normally happens when you won, but you acted poorly in the litigation.
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Partial indemnity costs
You can get costs awarded in the supreme court, superior court, or court of appeal. You cannot get your costs, or legal fees, reimbursed in provincial court.
Therefore, sometimes people take larger risks in provincial court because there are smaller consequences. You might have heard “costs in the event” or “costs in any event.” That’s explained later in this article.
It’s best to hire a law firm so that you can win your case. Going to court isn’t about saving money, it’s about winning. And once you win, you can apply to the court to get legal fees reimbursed. The successful litigants will get partial indemnity costs, or sometimes the full amount.
Judges can award costs incurred
The judge gets the make the decision. They have a lot of flexibility. Our family lawyers can fight cost award orders for you in the supreme court or the court of appeal. It’s most likely only worth hiring a lawyer to fight the cost order if it’s a large amount.
The courts are always pushing for people to settle issues via mediation or arbitration. If someone wants to fight things out in the court just to be difficult, legal costs might be awarded against them.
The courts in BC and Ontario are already running into large delays. There are not enough staff and judges to satisfy the number of cases. The judge will get made if you waste their time. If you can settle the matter, you should.
Awarded costs and legal fees in court
In family law, the shorter the litigation the better. You don’t want to spend your life fighting in court. If you have children, they need to get to a stable environment quickly. Further, keep in mind that the court is also very expensive.
Judges award costs against people that bring motions or applications that make no sense. The application shouldn’t have been brought just to stress your ex. The party that had to pay a lawyer to attend a pointless application should be reimbursed.
However, keep in mind that it’s rare that you will get paid back 100% of your legal fees. But it does happen!
Costs in any Event of the Cause
This means you will get your costs awarded regardless of if you win your case or not.
Costs In The Event of the Cause
This means that costs will be awarded if you win your case. You will have to win before you get your legal fees back.
Getting Costs Awarded In Court
If you are self-represented to save money, be very careful. If your ex spends $10,000 getting ready for court, you might have to pay their legal fees. Saving money is great, but you might end up losing your case and paying for your ex’s lawyer.
If it’s worth going to court, it’s worth winning. Get a great family lawyer to help you, win your case, and hopefully you will get reimbursed some or all of your legal costs.
The amount you will get for your cost award is based on what you were awarded, not on how much you wanted.
In conclusion, reach out to us to find the best family lawyer to learn about how to win your application or trial. You don’t want to lose your case and have to pay legal costs.
Further, winning is the point of going to trial, not saving money. If you have a child custody battle, it’s important you win.
Below are some terms associated with getting awarded costs in court:
- family law
- supreme court
- court of appeal
- partial indemnity costs
- law firm fees
- amount of costs
- personal injury
- access to justice
- legal costs
- indemnity cost
- amounts awarded
- indemnify the successful party
- costs based
- costs ordered
- rules of court
- successful litigants
- legal fees
- costs incurred
- include costs
- cost awards
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law