Can Attorney Fees Be Awarded For the Time Spent Litigating Attorney Fees?

April 25, 2012 | Erika Eckley


Attorney fees in any legal proceeding are only awarded when there is statutory or contractual authority for the award. In probate proceedings, Iowa Code Chapter 633 establishes, upon proof of the work done, the ordinary fees that may be granted to attorneys for their work in settling an estate. Attorneys who tackle complex and unusual cases may request extraordinary fees for work done on these issues. Attorney fee awards must be approved by the probate court after proof of the ordinary (and extraordinary) work done on behalf of the estate. But, Iowa Code Chapter 633 does not specifically state whether attorneys can collect fees incurred for time involved in litigating the attorney fee award when it is challenged and appealed. Inevitably, the issue presented itself in the following case.

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