FINANCIAL BUILDING CORPORATION vs. RUDLIN INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, BLOOMFIELD EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, INC., RODOLFO J. LAGERA, MA. ERLINDA J. LAGERA AND JOSAPHAT R. BRAVANTE, G.R. No. 164186, October 4, 2010; with accompanying case -- RUDLIN INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, BLOOMFIELD EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, INC., RODOLFO J. LAGERA, MA. ERLINDA J. LAGERA AND JOSAPHAT R. BRAVANTE vs. FINANCIAL BUILDING CORPORATION, G.R. No. 164347, October 4, 2010.
“x x x.
The counterclaim for attorneys fees must likewise be denied. We have stressed that the award of attorneys fees is the exception rather than the rule, as they are not always awarded every time a party prevails in a suit because of the policy that no premium should be placed on the right to litigate. Attorneys fees as part of damages is awarded only in the instances specified in Article 2208 of the Civil Code.
ART. 2208. In the absence of stipulation, attorneys fees and expenses of litigation, other than judicial costs, cannot be recovered, except:
(1) When exemplary damages are awarded;
(2) When the defendants act or omission has compelled the plaintiff to litigate with third persons or to incur expenses to protect his interest;
(3) In criminal cases of malicious prosecution against the plaintiff;
(4) In case of a clearly unfounded civil action or proceeding against the plaintiff;
(5) Where the defendant acted in gross and evident bad faith in refusing to satisfy the plaintiffs plainly valid, just and demandable claim;
(6) In actions for legal support;
(7) In actions for the recovery of wages of household helpers, laborers and skilled workers;
(8) In actions for indemnity under workmen’s compensation and employers liability laws;
(9) In a separate civil action to recover civil liability arising from a crime;
(10) When at least double judicial costs are awarded;
(11) In any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorneys fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered.
In all cases, the attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation must be reasonable.
None of the foregoing situations obtains in the case at bar.
X x x.”