The Florida Bar
The Florida Bar Journal
The Wrongful Act Doctrine: A Common Law Exception to the American Rule on Entitlement to Attorneys’ Fees in Florida

by Jeremy M. Colvin
As much as attorneys and judges enjoy citing and applying bright-line rules of law, they relish the opportunity to carve out exceptions to them even more. In Florida, the prevailing party in a civil action is not entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees unless the claim is predicated upon a contract or statute that authorizes the recovery of such attorneys’ fees. This rule of law is often described by attorneys and judges as “well-settled,” “axiomatic,” or “hornbook law....”1


[Revised: 11-23-2015]