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Boyd Rosene and Assoc., Inc. v. Kansas Mun. Gas Agency
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
174 F.3d 1115 (1999)
Boyd Rosene and Assoc., Inc. (Rosene) (plaintiff), an Oklahoma company, entered a contract with Kansas Municipal Gas Agency (the agency) (defendant), a Kansas entity. The contract stated that it was to be governed and construed in accordance with Kansas law. The contract did not contain an attorney’s-fees provision. Subsequently, Rosene filed a breach of contract and tort action against the agency in the Northern District of Oklahoma based on diversity jurisdiction. The district court entered summary judgment in the agency’s favor and ordered the parties to bear their own attorney’s fees. Following remand from an en banc rehearing, the district court applied Oklahoma’s choice-of-law rules. An Oklahoma statute allowed the prevailing party in a contract case to recover attorney’s fees. The district court decided that the statute was “procedural, not substantive”; Oklahoma courts follow the forum law on procedural matters; and the agency was entitled to its attorney’s fees on Rosene’s breach-of-contract claim. Rosene appealed, arguing that Kansas law should apply to the matter of attorney’s fees. Under Kansas law, there was no statutory right for prevailing parties in a contract case to recover attorney’s fees.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Murphy, J.)
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