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Hot discussion: The meaning of "Attorney fees to prevailing party in any dispute"
Thread poster: Frank Wang

Frank Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:25
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Oct 27, 2008

We have a hot discussion on the exact meaning of "Attorney fees to prevailing party in any dispute" in the language pair of English-to-Chinese. While more peers agree on that it means that "the prevailing party should be compensated ", more than one peer thinks the other way around.
The context is as below:
--------------------------------
Dispute Resolution
1. Any Member would be able to submit any disputed factual or legal issue to a single arbitrator for resolution
2. Arbitrator’s decision would be binding upon the parties
3. Venue: location of Member that did not bring suit
4. Attorney fees to prevailing party in any dispute
---------------------------------
What's your idea on this?
Thanks!


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:25
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Post it as a monolingual KudoZ question Oct 27, 2008

Terminology issues should be resolved via KudoZ, since the KudoZ system is much more adapted to it as the forums. Posting a question in the relevant language pair and then as a monolingual question for clarification is common practice.
HTH,
Attila


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Frank Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:25
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It isn't just a KudoZ topic Oct 27, 2008

Hi Attila,

Thanks for your reminder and it is understandable to me.

By posting this topic here, I didn't think of it just as a KudoZ topic. My intention was to hear ideas from a wider pool of English-related friends who were interested to input.

If this is unfortunately inappropriate, deletion of it is not a problem to me.
Frank


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 23:25
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
You're actually right Oct 27, 2008

Attorney fees provisions are awfully common (at least in the US), and I would be really surprised if "the prevailing party should be compensated," as you put it, is not the intended meaning here. I can't say the wording's awfully clear though, and, although I'm not a lawyer, I believe the word "award" would have normally been in there somewhere (i.e., "...fees shall be awarded..."). That would have precluded any possible confusion.

In other words, I'm pretty sure you're right. However, and just to be sure, I would wait and see what an expert on the subject (I'm thinking of lawyer-linguist here, if she happens to read this) says - more than anything, I'm personally interested in finding out whether the word "award" or something of the like has to be there, legally speaking...

[Edited at 2008-10-27 08:15]


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Frank Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:25
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wonderful! Oct 27, 2008

Thank you, Marcelo.

Let's wait and see whether there will be any other inputs.

Here is the original discusssion: http://www.proz.com/kudoz/2891102


Frank


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Shirley Lao  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:25
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Post this question in English-English KudoZ forum Oct 27, 2008

Hi Frank,


It is my understanding that some KudoZ participants in the English monolingual KudoZ forum are both native English speakers and have legal background. It may be a good idea for you to post this question in the English monolingual KudoZ forum for their ideas.




Frank Wang wrote:

We have a hot discussion on the exact meaning of "Attorney fees to prevailing party in any dispute" in the language pair of English-to-Chinese. While more peers agree on that it means that "the prevailing party should be compensated ", more than one peer thinks the other way around.
The context is as below:
--------------------------------
Dispute Resolution
1. Any Member would be able to submit any disputed factual or legal issue to a single arbitrator for resolution
2. Arbitrator’s decision would be binding upon the parties
3. Venue: location of Member that did not bring suit
4. Attorney fees to prevailing party in any dispute
---------------------------------
What's your idea on this?
Thanks!


[Edited at 2008-10-27 08:29]


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:25
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Why KudoZ Oct 27, 2008

Frank Wang wrote:

Hi Attila,

Thanks for your reminder and it is understandable to me.

By posting this topic here, I didn't think of it just as a KudoZ topic. My intention was to hear ideas from a wider pool of English-related friends who were interested to input.

If this is unfortunately inappropriate, deletion of it is not a problem to me.
Frank


Hi Frank,
Just a few points why KudoZ is a better choice:
1.) Impact: Few users get notification emails about forum topics - many more get notifications emails about KudoZ questions in their language pair and specialty fields. I would think thousands of native English speakers will receive an email about your KudoZ question. Of course, they can see your topic on the ProZ.com home page - but only for a limited time, after that they will have to search among recent posts. By the time translators in the US get up your topic may have disappeared from the home page.
2.) KudoZ now offers a discussion option as well. Together with the "request clarification" option and the agree-disagree possibilities, it is particularly well suited to such questions. Judged from the titler of your first post, your question seems to be mainly linguistic in nature. The discussion of the current practice of attorney fees can be relegated to the Discussion section of the KudoZ question.
3.) Search options: by typing "attorney fee" in ProZ.com term search, future users will stumble upon your question and the answers - and the discussion, all in one place. They might find it very useful.

Perhaps Marcelo's answer has completely settled the issue, in which case posting a KudoZ question might be pointless.
Best regards,
Attila


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Frank Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:25
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great idea. Oct 27, 2008

Thank you, Shirley.

I would try this when I am in a similar case next time.

Frank

Shirley Lao wrote:

Hi Frank,


It is my understanding that some KudoZ participants in the English monolingual KudoZ forum are both native English speakers and have legal background. It may be a good idea for you to post this question in the English monolingual KudoZ forum for their ideas.




Frank Wang wrote:

We have a hot discussion on the exact meaning of "Attorney fees to prevailing party in any dispute" in the language pair of English-to-Chinese. While more peers agree on that it means that "the prevailing party should be compensated ", more than one peer thinks the other way around.
The context is as below:
--------------------------------
Dispute Resolution
1. Any Member would be able to submit any disputed factual or legal issue to a single arbitrator for resolution
2. Arbitrator’s decision would be binding upon the parties
3. Venue: location of Member that did not bring suit
4. Attorney fees to prevailing party in any dispute
---------------------------------
What's your idea on this?
Thanks!


[Edited at 2008-10-27 08:29]


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Frank Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:25
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Oct 27, 2008

Hi Attila,

Great idea and impressive analysis!

Thanks for helping me get familiar with the use of the forum.

Warm regards,

Frank

Attila Piróth wrote:

Frank Wang wrote:

Hi Attila,

Thanks for your reminder and it is understandable to me.

By posting this topic here, I didn't think of it just as a KudoZ topic. My intention was to hear ideas from a wider pool of English-related friends who were interested to input.

If this is unfortunately inappropriate, deletion of it is not a problem to me.
Frank


Hi Frank,
Just a few points why KudoZ is a better choice:
1.) Impact: Few users get notification emails about forum topics - many more get notifications emails about KudoZ questions in their language pair and specialty fields. I would think thousands of native English speakers will receive an email about your KudoZ question. Of course, they can see your topic on the ProZ.com home page - but only for a limited time, after that they will have to search among recent posts. By the time translators in the US get up your topic may have disappeared from the home page.
2.) KudoZ now offers a discussion option as well. Together with the "request clarification" option and the agree-disagree possibilities, it is particularly well suited to such questions. Judged from the titler of your first post, your question seems to be mainly linguistic in nature. The discussion of the current practice of attorney fees can be relegated to the Discussion section of the KudoZ question.
3.) Search options: by typing "attorney fee" in ProZ.com term search, future users will stumble upon your question and the answers - and the discussion, all in one place. They might find it very useful.

Perhaps Marcelo's answer has completely settled the issue, in which case posting a KudoZ question might be pointless.
Best regards,
Attila


[Edited at 2008-10-27 09:18]


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 09:25
Turkish to English
+ ...
Not clearly written Oct 27, 2008

This is appallingly written for a legal text. I hope that substantial amounts of money are not involved here.
The words
"Attorney fees to prevailing party in any dispute"
do not create a full sentence. There is no verb, so we have no precise way of knowing what happens to the "attorney fees". Logic dictates that the losing party pays the winning party's costs, but, logic apart, there is nothing about the above wording that makes this clear.


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dd dd
Local time: 14:25
English to Chinese
+ ...
How come this context is not provided in the E-C section? Oct 27, 2008

The context should be provided in the beginning.



[Edited at 2008-10-27 15:34]


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Frank Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:25
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clear comment Oct 27, 2008

Hi Tim,

Thank you!

I appreciated your clear explanation and comment.

Frank

Tim Drayton wrote:

This is appallingly written for a legal text. I hope that substantial amounts of money are not involved here.
The words
"Attorney fees to prevailing party in any dispute"
do not create a full sentence. There is no verb, so we have no precise way of knowing what happens to the "attorney fees". Logic dictates that the losing party pays the winning party's costs, but, logic apart, there is nothing about the above wording that makes this clear.


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Frank Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:25
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Near your arguments Oct 28, 2008

Xiao Liu,

The asker posted the context two days before you posted the opposing arguments in the "Clarification request(s) and response" section and it is just a couple of lines above your postings.

Laura Liu wrote:

The context should be provided in the beginning.



[Edited at 2008-10-27 15:34]


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Anne Goff  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:25
French to English
+ ...
Terrible Text Oct 28, 2008

I agree with the previous posters-

Logically and traditionally (in the US at least) the losing party pays the attorneys fees.
Linguistically, there is nothing in the phrase that tells who pays whom.

However, I believe it is so rare for the prevailing party to pay, that if this were the case, the text would have made it blatantly clear.

With a phrase like that, the best you can do is play the odds and point it out to the client.


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Frank Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:25
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Appreciation Oct 28, 2008

Hi Anne,

Thanks for your practical idea!

Kind regards,

Frank

Anne Goff wrote:

I agree with the previous posters-

Logically and traditionally (in the US at least) the losing party pays the attorneys fees.
Linguistically, there is nothing in the phrase that tells who pays whom.

However, I believe it is so rare for the prevailing party to pay, that if this were the case, the text would have made it blatantly clear.

With a phrase like that, the best you can do is play the odds and point it out to the client.


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