In general, the U.S. legal system provides that each side pays their own attorney fees, regardless of the outcome. This is only a default rule and does not apply if a contract or a statute provides that the losing side will pay attorney fees in a certain situation. Courts also have general authority to order one side to pay the other side’s attorney fees in the interests of justice and fairness. For example, if someone brings a clearly meritless lawsuit to harass someone else, the court might order the plaintiff to pay the defendant’s attorney fees