Legal Alert - Arizona Court of Appeals Renders Two Decisions Affecting Awards of Attorneys’ Fees in Lawsuits to Enforce Mechanics’ Liens
by Jennifer R. Phillips and Nicole E. Sornsin
This past month, the Arizona Court of Appeals issued two decisions that could have significant implications for mechanics’ lien claimants.
In Summers Group Inc. v. Tempe Mechanical, LLC, the Court of Appeals eased the burden on lien claimants who are the parties initiating an action on their lien. The Court held that, in a lien priority contest, all unsuccessful lien claimants are liable for paying the successful lien claimant’s attorney’s fees. In other words, where a court awards attorneys’ fees to a successful claimant, the party who initiated the lien foreclosure action need not pay the entirety of the successful claimant’s fees. Instead, the burden is shared among all unsuccessful claimants.