From an appeal of small claims court, can the plaintiff countersue the defendant?

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From an appeal of small claims court, can the plaintiff countersue the defendant?

I am the defendant and have filed an appeal in small claims court. Can the plaintiff countersue for lawyer fees?

Asked on August 10, 2011 California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There weren't any attorneys in Small Claims Court.  So, there would not have been any attorney's fees at that time.  If the case is appealed and is now in a higher court where the plaintiff is now represented by an attorney and if you lose the appeal, you would be liable for attorney's fees.  If you win the case on appeal, you would not be liable for attorney's fees.  The general rule is that the loser is liable for the winner's attorney's fees.  If the case is settled before trial, language could be included in the settlement agreement that each party is responsible for their own attorney's fees.  With that language in the settlement agreement, you would not be responsible for the plaintiff's attorney's fees.


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