RAP 18.1: ATTORNEY FEES AND EXPENSES

(a) Generally. If applicable law grants to a party the right to recover reasonable attorney fees or expenses on review before either the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court, the party must request the fees or expenses as provided in this rule, unless a statute specifies that the request is to be directed to the trial court.

(b) Argument in Brief. The party must devote a section of its opening brief to the request for the fees or expenses. Requests made at the Court of Appeals will be considered as continuing requests at the Supreme Court, except as stated in section (j). The request should not be made in the cost bill. In a motion on the merits pursuant to rule 18.14, the request and supporting argument must be included in the motion or response if the requesting party has not yet filed a brief.

(c) Affidavit of Financial Need. In any action where applicable law mandates consideration of the financial resources of one or more parties regarding an award of attorney fees and expenses, each party must serve upon the other and file a financial affidavit no later than 10 days prior to the date the case is set for oral argument or consideration on the merits; however, in a motion on the merits pursuant to rule 18.14, each party must serve and file a financial affidavit along with its motion or response. Any answer to an affidavit of financial need must be filed and served within 7 days after service of the affidavit.

(d) Affidavit of Fees and Expenses. Within 10 days after the filing of a decision awarding a party the right to reasonable attorney fees and expenses, the party must serve and file in the appellate court an affidavit detailing the expenses incurred and the services performed by counsel.

(e) Objection to Affidavit of Fees and Expenses; Reply. A party may object to a request for fees and expenses filed pursuant to section (d) by serving and filing an answer with appropriate documentation containing specific objections to the requested fee. The answer must be served and filed within 10 days after service of the affidavit of fees and expenses upon the party. A party may reply to an answer by serving and filing the reply documents within 5 days after the service of the answer upon that party.

(f) Commissioner or Clerk Awards Fees and Expenses. A commissioner or clerk will determine the amount of the award, and will notify the parties. The determination will be made without a hearing, unless one is requested by the commissioner or clerk.

(g) Objection to Award. A party may object to the commissioner's or clerk's award only by motion to the appellate court in the same manner and within the same time as provided in rule 17.7 for objections to any other rulings of a commissioner or clerk.

(h) Transmitting Judgment on Award. The clerk will include the award of attorney fees and expenses in the mandate, or the certificate of finality, or in a supplemental judgment. The award of fees and expenses, including interest from the date of the award by the appellate court, may be enforced in the trial court.

(i) Fees and Expenses Determined After Remand. The appellate court may direct that the amount of fees and expenses be determined by the trial court after remand.

(j) Fees for Answering Petition for Review. If attorney fees and expenses are awarded to the party who prevailed in the Court of Appeals, and if a petition for review to the Supreme Court is subsequently denied, reasonable attorney fees and expenses may be awarded for the prevailing party's preparation and filing of the timely answer to the petition for review. A party seeking attorney fees and expenses should request them in the answer to the petition for review. The Supreme Court will decide whether fees are to be awarded at the time the Supreme Court denies the petition for review. If fees are awarded, the party to whom fees are awarded should submit an affidavit of fees and expenses within the time and in the manner provided in section (d). An answer to the request or a reply to an answer may be filed within the time and in the manner provided in section (e). The commissioner or clerk of the Supreme Court will determine the amount of fees without oral argument, unless oral argument is requested by the commissioner or clerk. Section (g) applies to objections to the award of fees and expenses by the commissioner or clerk.

[Amended to become effective December 29, 1998; December 5, 2002; September 1, 2003; September 1, 2006; September 1, 2010]