O’Connell v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLCAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court held that district court cannot deny attorney fees otherwise allowed by agreement, rule, or statute because a lawyer representing a client on a contingency fee basis does not provide proof of hourly billing records.
Plaintiff sought an attorney fees award under Nev. R. Civ. P. 68 after suing Defendant for negligence after she tripped and fell on Defendant’s property. Plaintiff requested $96,000 in attorney fees, which she calculated as forty percent of the reduced judgment amount based on a forty-percent contingency fee agreement with her attorneys. The district court denied her request because, in part, Plaintiff did not submit hourly billing records of the work performed by her counsel to show that the requested fee was reasonable.
The Supreme Court reversed the denial of Plaintiff’s request for attorney fees and remanded for a full hearing on the request, holding (1) a lawyer who represents a client on a contingency fee basis need not submit hourly billing records before he or she can be awarded attorney fees; and (2) the district court improperly analyzed certain factors set forth in Beattie v. Thomas, 668 P.2d 268, 274 (Nev. 1983) in otherwise denying Plaintiff’s fees request.