RALEIGH, N.C. – Scott Miskimon, a partner at Smith Anderson who focuses his practice on contract disputes and litigation, authored an article in the May 2012 edition of Business Lawyer, a publication of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Corporate Counsel Section. The article is entitled “Recovering Attorneys’ Fees: A New Day Dawns in North Carolina.” The article analyzes a new North Carolina statute that gives businesses a greater opportunity to recover attorneys’ fees incurred in litigating disputes regarding business contracts. The article also discusses how the new law can alter the cost of litigating and affect when and how parties settle their lawsuits. The new statute discussed in the article is a significant expansion of existing law regarding the recovery of attorneys’ fees, and applies to business contracts that contain a reciprocal attorneys’ fees provision. The new law gives judges the discretion to award attorneys’ fees based on thirteen non-exclusive factors, including the terms of the contract, the extent to which the party asking for attorneys’ fees prevailed in the action, the amount in controversy, the amount of damages awarded, and the relative economic circumstances of the parties involved. Unlike an earlier attorneys’ fees statute, the new law prohibits the recovery of fees based on any stated percentage.
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About Scott Miskimon
Mr. Miskimon is a commercial litigator who prosecutes and defends significant business disputes in state and federal court. A large part of his practice involves commercial real estate litigation and land use and zoning litigation. He is the co-author of the authoritative treatise North Carolina Contract Law, which he updates annually, and which has been frequently cited and quoted by North Carolina’s appellate courts.