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A&S SMITH DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. SAIL AWAY, LLC, ET AL.

Torts — Tortious interference — Attorney’s fees

This case arises out of a dispute regarding a commercial lease. Commercial landlord A&S Smith Development Corp. (“A&S”), appellant/cross-appellee, brought breach of contract claims against former tenant Sail Away, LLC and Amy Michaud (collectively, “Sail Away”), appellee/cross-appellant. Sail Away filed a counterclaim against A&S, alleging tortious interference of an economic relationship. The circuit court entered summary judgment in favor of A&S as to liability for the breach of contract claims, but referred the determination of damages to the jury. At the close of all evidence in the subsequent jury trial, the circuit court entered judgment as a matter of law in favor of A&S as to Sail Away’s counterclaim alleging tortious interference.

The jury returned a verdict awarding certain damages to A&S and declining to award other damages. Following the trial, A&S filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for attorney’s fees. The circuit court denied both motions. A&S and Sail Away both noted appeals.

A&S presents six issues for our consideration on appeal, which we have consolidated as two issues as follows:

1. Whether the circuit court erred in denying A&S’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the issues of real estate taxes, late fees and interest on rent, interest on real estate taxes, interest on slip leases, and attorney’s fees incurred in prosecuting A&S’s claim for breach of the commercial lease.

2. Whether the circuit court erred in denying A&S’s motion for attorney’s fees incurred in defending the tortious interference counterclaim.

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