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Legal question of the day:

I won a lawsuit in the local court. According to the judgment, the defendant must bear the costs of the proceedings. Then why does my lawyer write me an invoice?


In civil proceedings before the local courts it is usually said: whoever is defeated pays the music. If your action has been upheld in full, the unsuccessful defendant must pay the costs. And that can turn into a lot of money. Because he has to not just the court fees numbers. In addition, there may be witness fees, expert costs and other expenses. And actually the lawyer's fees.

Even so, your lawyer is behaving correctly. With the transfer of the mandate, you have concluded a contract with your lawyer. He advises and represents you vis-à-vis the opposing party. You are obliged to pay the attorney's fees incurred. In judicial proceedings, the fees are determined by the Lawyers' Remuneration Act (RVG). For example, the lawyer receives a procedural fee for bringing the lawsuit. The amount of the fee depends on the fee rate and the amount in dispute. That is the value of the claim you are arguing about.

The judgment does not change the lawyer’s contractual right to payment of his fees. You remain the debtor of the fees. Your lawyer is by no means obliged to bill you for his costs only after the proceedings have been concluded. The fees are only due in accordance with Section 8 RVG. However, your lawyer can ask for an advance payment. Conversely, he can only send you his invoice after the judgment has been pronounced.

The verdict in the judgment is still not just smoke and mirrors. That is part of the proceedings Cost fixing procedure at. The victorious party places one at the court for this Request on cost fixing. This lists, among other things, the attorney fees incurred and court fees paid in advance. The other side is given the opportunity to comment. The court then adds further court and procedural costs and issues a cost-fixing decision.

With this enforceable title, you can request reimbursement of the legal fees you have already paid from the other party. Don't worry: your lawyer will also take care of the cost fixing process for you. If necessary, you can then have your claims collected by a bailiff.