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What Does Lodestar Mean?

Author: Peter Ciferri Date: 09/06/2018

Categories: Arbitration and Mediation, Corporate and Business Law

Much is being made of the use of the so-called “archaic” word “Lodestar”, a 14th century word used by an anonymous op-ed penned by an anonymous White House official critical of the President, according to the Washington Post.

The word lodestar is not a mystery to lawyers, however.  

As recently explained by the Court of Appeals of Maryland in Monmouth Meadows Homeowners Assn. v. Hamilton, 416 Md. 325 (2010), the “lodestar method” is the appropriate method of calculating attorneys’ fees in the context of litigation surrounding fee-shifting statutes.  Per the Court of Appeals’ analysis, the court’s application of the lodestar method is designed to reward counsel for undertaking socially beneficial litigation in cases where the expected relief has a small enough monetary value that other methods would provide inadequate compensation.

However, application of the lodestar method is not justified for calculating attorneys’ fees in all cases. As explained by the Court, the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.5(a) sets the foundation of factors that a court should more often apply in determining what constitutes a reasonable fee when the court awards fees based on a contract entered by the parties authorizing an award of fees.

Choosing a lawyer is tough. At McMillan Metro, P.C., we pride ourselves on delivering knowledge, strategy and results. If you have a corporate or real estate need, or are facing commercial litigation, call Peter E. Ciferri for an initial consultation at (240) 778-2307.