In most cases, prevailing parties are not entitled to recover their attorney’s fees, even if they win a lawsuit.
There are exceptions to this general rule. Certain statutory enactments provide for the recovery of attorney’s fees by a claimant or other prevailing party. Examples include certain civil rights and employment discrimination statutes, consumer protection statutes, and some statutes relating to business competition.
Another exception is where the parties specify in a contract that a prevailing party or party enforcing the contractual provisions is entitled to recover attorney’s fees. However, even where a contract provides for the payment of attorney’s fees, courts sometimes refuse to enforce such provisions in form contracts, certain consumer situations, and other situations involving uneven bargaining power.