Marra v. Brandywine School District, C.A. No. 5574-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept.  28, 2012).

This is a useful little 20-page letter ruling for the purpose of illustrating the challenge of winning a motion seeking the award of attorneys’ fees based on the bad faith exception to the American Rule. The context is a subcontractor who sued to contest the failure to win the bid for the flooring part of a public project for a school district. Shortly after suit was filed by the contractor, the school district decided to re-bid the job, making the suit moot. The Court of Chancery’s decision was in response to a motion by the subcontractor seeking his attorneys’ fees for the suit that was mooted. The court had sympathy for the plight of the contractor, and described the school district’s behavior as less than exemplary, but after reviewing the applicable standards, declined to award fees.