Nebraska Revised Statute 25-824.01
Frivolous actions; attorney's fees; costs; determination of amount.
In determining the amount of a cost or an attorney's fee award pursuant to subsection (2) of section 25-824, the court shall exercise its sound discretion. When granting an award of costs and attorney's fees, the court shall specifically set forth the reasons for such award and shall, in determining whether to assess attorney's fees and costs and the amount to be assessed against offending attorneys and parties, consider the following factors, including, but not limited to: (1) The extent to which any effort was made to determine the validity of any action or claim before the action was asserted; (2) the extent of any effort made after the commencement of an action to reduce the number of claims or defenses being asserted or to dismiss claims or defenses that have been found not to be valid; (3) the availability of facts to assist the party to determine the validity of a claim or defense; (4) the relative financial position of the parties involved; (5) whether or not the action was prosecuted or defended in whole or in part in bad faith; (6) whether or not issues of fact, determinative of the validity of a party's claim or defense, were reasonably in conflict; (7) the extent to which the party prevailed with respect to the amount of and number of claims in controversy; (8) the amount or conditions of any offer of judgment or settlement in relation to the amount or conditions of the ultimate relief granted by the court; (9) the extent to which a reasonable effort was made to determine prior to the time of filing of a claim that all parties sued or joined were proper parties owing a legally defined duty to the plaintiff or defendant; and (10) the extent of any effort made after the commencement of an action to reduce the number of parties in the action.
The two requirements of this section, one mandating a court to specifically set forth the reasons for the award and the other requiring the court to consider enumerated factors, are separate and distinct. White v. Kohout, 286 Neb. 700, 839 N.W.2d 252 (2013).
In determining whether to assess attorney fees and costs and the amount to be assessed against offending attorneys and parties, the court considers a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the 10 factors listed in this section. In re Guardianship of Aimee S., 26 Neb. App. 380, 920 N.W.2d 18 (2018).
Nebraska's statutory scheme requires the trial court to "exercise its sound discretion" in determining whether to award attorney fees, and whether a claim or defense was made in bad faith is but one factor to be considered by the trial court. Harrington v. Farmers Union Co-op. Ins. Co., 13 Neb. App. 484, 696 N.W.2d 485 (2005).