A state supreme court has approved an award of attorney fees for an attorney who defended herself in a lawsuit. In affirming the award of attorney fees to a pro se party, the court considered that doing so might deter future frivolous litigation. The decision divided the court, however. It also has divided ABA Section of Litigation leaders. Some agree with its rationale, but others believe it might open the door for more demands for attorney fees.
A New Way to Earn Attorney Fees
The case, which wound up at the Illinois Supreme Court, began as a suit between two attorneys. In McCarthy v. Taylor, a grantor created a living trust naming his romantic interest as a secondary trustee. The trust named Gerald McCarthy, an attorney, as a secondary successor trustee. Following the death of the grantor, another attorney presented McCarthy with an amended trust document naming that attorney, Marvin Gray, as the successor trustee.
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