If you have a contract that contains an "attorney fee" clause, --one that states that in the event of a lawsuit for breach of that contract the court can award attorney fees to a prevailing party, then you can of course obtain your reasonable attorney fees if you win. But, if you have a contract that does not contain an attorney fee clause, you may still be able to obtain an award of attorney fees if you win in the case. Oregon Revised Statute ("ORS") 20.082 allows for the recovery of attorney fees for most breach of contract cases in which the amount sought is $10,000 or less. This figure or limit is expected to go up over time. ORS 20.082 currently provides that a court shall allow reasonable attorney fees to a winner, known as a prevailing party, if the amount of principal together with interest due on the claim is $10,000 or less and the contract does not contain an attorney fee clause. But, in order to obtain a right to attorney fees the prevailing party must have made a certain written demand on the non-prevailing, or losing party, not less than 20 days before the commencement of the legal action or the filing of a complaint. If you do not give this notice, then the adverse party in the suit can obtain their reasonable attorney fees if they win, but you cannot. Additionally, attorney fees may not be awarded if after giving the demand, the adverse party tendered a sum to you with in the 20 days, and you did not then beat that sum in court by obtaining an award that was higher than the tender. ORS 20.082 does not apply to all contracts and must be read in full and very carefully before proceeding. This should be done with the assistance of an attorney. Please call one of our contract attorneys for advice regarding ORS 20.082.