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Re: Lawyer Fees

Posted by Mark Smith on October 18, 2000 at 12:30:09:

In Reply to: Lawyer fees posted by Maxie W on October 18, 2000 at 08:49:30:

The American legal system generally provides that each party pays its own legal expenses. There are some exceptions. For example, certain laws provide that the prevailing party be paid its legal expenses by the other party. Contracts, including leases, sometimes provide that the prevailing party be paid its legal fees by the other party.

In the case of a lease, there is generally a provision that the tenant pays the landlord's legal expenses if the landlord prevails in court. To put things on a more equal basis, New York's Real Property Law 234 gives the tenant the same right to be paid legal fees as the landlord has in a lease, if the tenant prevails in court.

The problem with a rent controlled apartment is that the lease was executed thirty or more years ago, and neither party can find a copy. In your case, the lease may have been executed over fifty years ago. That can be good for a tenant who loses in court, but it's bad for a tenant who wins in court.

If your landlord keeps bringing the same case, based on the same allegations, after having lost in the past, you might be able to sue for abuse of process. It's also unusual for a second level appeal (to the Appellate Division) unless one of the judges in the Appellate Term dissented.

: The law now reads that a rent control tenant who is taken to court by a landlord to prove primary residency is not entitled to re-coup lawyer fees. My problem is that I have been taken to court on two occasions by my landlord and have won both cases. My landlord has taken the decision to the Appeals court and has lost and is now taking the case to the next Appeals court. This is all fine for the landlord but this is costing me a fortune (money that I don't have). I've been living in this buiding since 1946 and have to prove that this is my primary residence??? I have proved this in court twice already! Why should I have to pay well over $5,000. I live in a rent controlled apartment because I am not a r

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