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Jun. 20, 2024

Leveling the playing field of the attorney fee contract provision

A Closer Look at California Civil Code §1717A: The code ensures that any contract provision that awards attorney’s fees to one party or the prevailing party is applied reciprocally to all parties, regardless of the contract terms. The section also prohibits the waiver of attorney’s fees by the parties.

Steven Otto

Partner, Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard & Swanson LLP (CGS3).


When negotiating contracts, there can be a disparity in leverage and negotiating strength, or an inability to agree on specific provisions. On occasion that may lead the party with more leverage to attempt to negotiate onerous or one-sided provisions into the contract. While the power to contract typically leaves great discretion to the parties involved, there are times when the law will intervene - regardless of the terms and conditions of the contract.

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