September 13, 2021

A New Era of Attorney Fees in Indiana Administrative Law Proceedings



Partner Anne Ricchiuto and associate Matthew Elliott recently presented on Indiana’s new attorney fee-shifting statute for administrative proceedings at a CLE seminar for administrative law judges and state agency counsel. The CLE was hosted by the State of Indiana’s Office of Administrative Law Proceedings (OALP), and Anne and Matthew presented alongside a judge on the Marion Superior Court and an administrative law judge.

With more than 85 administrative law judges and government attorneys in attendance, the presentation covered implementation of the new attorney fee-shifting statute and existing case law concerning fee shifting in civil litigation, and explored strategies and best practices for analyzing and awarding attorney’s fees.

The presentation focused on Ind. Code § 4-21.5-3-27.5, which became effective on July 1, 2021, and provides:

In a proceeding under this chapter concerning an agency action, the administrative law judge shall order the agency to pay the reasonable attorney's fees incurred in the proceeding by the party challenging the agency action if the party challenging the agency action proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that:

  1. the agency's action was frivolous or groundless; or
  2. the agency pursued the action in bad faith.

To learn more about Indiana’s Office of Administrative Law Proceedings, see “Indiana Launches New Office of Administrative Law Proceedings.”

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