In Washington courts, litigants typically pay their own legal fees and costs. However, in many situations, a successful litigant may have a contractual or statutory right to recover some or all of those fees from another party. For example, the standard Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement (REPSA or Form 21) provides “if Buyer or Seller institutes suit against the other concerning this Agreement the prevailing party is entitled to reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses.”
Many statutes [for example, the Consumer Protection Act (RCW 19.86.090), the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56.550(4)), the Open Public Meetings Act (RCW 42.30.120(4)), the public disclosure laws (RCW 42.17A.765(4)(b)) among many others] include provisions awarding reasonable attorney fees to the “prevailing party.” If you need legal services but are concerned about the potential cost, contact us. Someone else may be liable for your attorney fees and costs.