2005 Arizona Revised Statutes - Revised Statutes §12-341.01  Recovery of attorney fees

A. In any contested action arising out of a contract, express or implied, the court may award the successful party reasonable attorney fees. If a written settlement offer is rejected and the judgment finally obtained is equal to or more favorable to the offeror than an offer made in writing to settle any contested action arising out of a contract, the offeror is deemed to be the successful party from the date of the offer and the court may award the successful party reasonable attorney fees. This section shall in no manner be construed as altering, prohibiting or restricting present or future contracts or statutes that may provide for attorney fees.

B. The award of reasonable attorney fees pursuant to subsection A should be made to mitigate the burden of the expense of litigation to establish a just claim or a just defense. It need not equal or relate to the attorney fees actually paid or contracted, but the award may not exceed the amount paid or agreed to be paid.

C. The court shall award reasonable attorney fees in any contested action upon clear and convincing evidence that the claim or defense constitutes harassment, is groundless and is not made in good faith. In making the award, the court may consider any evidence it deems appropriate and shall receive this evidence during a trial on the merits of the cause, or separately, regarding the amount of fees it deems in the best interest of the litigating parties.

D. The court and not a jury shall award reasonable attorney fees under this section.


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