Q: May a county enter into a contract which includes a provision that, in the event of a default in the terms and conditions of the contract by the county, if found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be the defaulting party, reimburse another party to the contract, who is not in default, for its attorneys' fees in bringing a court action to enforce the terms and conditions of the agreement?

A: A county may not enter a contract which includes a provision that, in the event of a breach of the terms of the contract by the county, the county pay the attorneys, fees to the non-breaching party. They must have express statutory authority to contract to pay attorneys' fees. (Attorney General's Opinion to Nowak dated January 23, 2009)