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Appeals Court Enforces Attorney Fee Provision in Commercial Contract

Jouret LLC Aug. 15, 2019

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today enforced, without substantial comment, analysis or citation to authority, a bank’s loan guaranty contract providing that the "[g]uarantor agrees that whenever any attorney is used by the Lender to obtain payment hereunder, to enforce this Guaranty . . . the Lender shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys' fees, all court costs, and expenses." MountainOne Bank v. Hurley, No. 18-P-1504. https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2019/08/15/18P1504.pdf. The court also consequently awarded the bank its appellate fees. Parties to contracts sometimes wonder whether courts will enforce such provisions. Today’s decision, albeit an unpublished decision, reaffirms that yes, such provisions can be enforceable and that this conclusion is sometimes so obvious a reviewing court will not need to analyze the issue in detail or even cite supporting authority.