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Knoll Leibel LLP wins attorney’s fees on appeal

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2022 | Firm News |

The attorneys at Knoll Leibel LLP continue to rack up wins for their clients. These wins often include collecting attorney’s fees. Sometimes, though, zealously advocating for those Knoll Leibel LLP represents requires taking a matter through the appeals process.

Recently, the firm represented a North Dakota client in a dispute involving a cattle share lease agreement. This representation ultimately contributed to both a favorable verdict for the client and the award of attorney’s fees.

The underlying dispute

Cattle share lease agreements can be highly technical contracts that often cause disputes to arise between the parties. The underlying dispute in this case began in small claims court, but the defendant requested its removal to the district court. The judge approved that request.

After a trial in the district court, the plaintiff along with a Knoll Leibel LLP team secured a successful verdict. This verdict included an award for the plaintiff’s rent and other claimed damages.

The award of attorney’s fees

According to Section 27-8.1 of the North Dakota Century Code,  the defendant should have paid for the plaintiff’s legal fees. Regrettably, the district court failed to award attorney’s fees to Knoll Leibel LLP’s client. Seeing this as a misapplication of state law, the firm filed an appeal with the North Dakota Supreme Court.

After attorneys from Knoll Leibel LLP reviewed the law and briefed the court, the North Dakota Supreme Court agreed. Specifically, the court opined the plaintiff should have received compensation for the attorney’s fees incurred from the case’s removal to the district court.

The North Dakota Supreme Court did not stop there, however. In addition to attorney’s fees from the district court matter, the court found the plaintiff should receive attorney’s fees and costs from the appeal. This resulted in a reversal of the district court’s decision not to award attorney’s fees to Knoll Leibel LLP’s client.

Ultimately, because of both a deep understanding of North Dakota law and diligent representation on behalf of the client, Knoll Leibel LLP was able to address the underlying issue while saving the firm’s client substantial attorney’s fees.