The Idaho Supreme Court recently instructed that to preserve issues regarding the reasonableness of attorney fee awards for appeal, objections must be stated with particularity in a motion to disallow costs. In Fagen, Inc. v. Rogerson Flats Wind Park, LLC, 2016 Opinion No. 8 (Jan. 26, 2016), following judgment, the plaintiff filed a memorandum of costs seeking $99,452 in attorney fees. The plaintiff sought attorney fees incurred by both its Minnesota and Idaho counsel. The defendants objected, arguing the fees were unreasonable, but failed to raise specific objections to the fee request.  On that basis, the district court awarded the plaintiff the full amount of fees requested.

On appeal, the defendants argued that the district court erred by concluding that the rates of Minnesota counsel, which were vastly higher than rural Idaho market rates, were reasonable. The Supreme Court refused to consider the issue, explaining:

The appropriate manner in which to object to the attorney fees claimed in a memorandum of costs is to file and serve timely on adverse parties “a motion to disallow part or all of such costs.” I.R.C.P. 54(e)(6), 54(d)(6). A motion must “state with particularity the grounds therefor.” I.R.C.P. 7(b)(1).

Slip op. at 4. Here, defendants’ objection did not specifically address the reasonableness of Minnesota counsel’s hourly rate. Without this specific objection, the Supreme Court concluded that defendants were raising the issue for the first time on appeal and would not consider it.

You can read the full opinion here: