A rule in economics and law that says attorney fees must be paid by every party included in litigation - even the party that wins the case. An exception to the American rule can take place when the court rewards the winning party compensation to compensate fees against a losing party that has acted in bad faith.
The American Rule is contrary with the English Rule, in which the losing party reimburses the fees for the winning party. Most of the countries outside the U.S. work under the English rule. Some people argue that the American Rule permits plaintiffs to warn other parties with expensive lawsuits so as to obtain a favorable settlement.