The term “prevailing party” has been defined in different ways by various courts. In Waxman v. Waxman, the Massachusetts Appeals Court defined “prevailing party” as a party that achieves a favorable judgment. In First Citizens Bank & Trust Company v. Stewart Title Guaranty Company, the Colorado Court of Appeals defined “prevailing party” as one which prevails on a significant issue in the litigation and derives some of the benefits sought by the litigation. The California Code of Civil Procedure states that a “prevailing party” may be a party with a net monetary recovery, a defendant in whose favor a dismissal is entered, a defendant where neither plaintiff nor defendant obtains any relief, or a defendant as against those plaintiffs who do not recover any relief against that defendant.
[Last updated in August of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]