The probate court agreed there was evidence of fraud and appointed an administrator to take over to investigate the estate. The executor appealed. The appeals judge remanded the case back to the probate judge for more findings of fact. This took several years, during which time the probate judge retired. The new probate judge held a new hearing to hear evidence. This put us into the position of having to do all the investigation ourselves at great expense, including an expert witness (a neurologist). Does SC law automatically award attorneys fees if you win the appeal?
Attorneys fees are not automatically awarded. With an appeal, the Probate Court would only have the jurisdiction given to it by the appellate court. This means that whatever was ordered in the appellate court is the only thing the Probate Court can hear when the case comes back. If attorneys fees was not one of those issues, you cannot get those fees.
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SC Courts do not automatically award attorneys fees. Typically, parties pay their own attorneys fees pursuant to The American Rule. Absent some specific statute specifically penalizing the other side for specific conduct or a contract that states that the prevailing party is entitled to attorneys fees, it is highly unlikely that you will be awarded attorneys fees.
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