Swann Keys Civic Assoc. v. Shamp, (Del. Supr., March 26, 2009), read opinion here. This Delaware Supreme Court decision affirmed the Chancery Court’s ruling that only two-thirds of the attorneys’ fees of the prevailing side would be paid based on the trial court’s "fee-shifting", despite the absence of submitted affidavits. The Supreme Court explained its reasoning in detail, including the point that the trial court was able to observe the work performed first-hand and, for example, the trial court found some of the defensive maneuvers of the prevailing party to be of little usefulness, thus the full amount of fees was not granted.
The Chancery Court’s decision was highlighted here.
The High Court’s introductory summary of the case should be enough for the reader to decide if it includes topics that would warrant a reading of the entire well-reasoned opinion at the above link:
In this appeal from the Court of Chancery, the Swann Keys Civic Association asks this Court to reverse the Vice Chancellor’s refusal to enforce a restrictive covenant limiting the height of homes in Swann Keys to sixteen feet, six inches. On cross-appeal, Barbara B. Shamp and John E. and Judith A. Humphreys (collectively “Shamp”) assert that the Vice Chancellor erred by limiting their recoverable attorney fees to two-thirds of their actual expenses. We conclude that the Vice Chancellor correctly refused to enforce the home height limitation and that he acted within his discretion by shifting only two-thirds of Shamp’sattorneys’ fees. Accordingly, we affirm