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Following David S. Karton, A Law Corp. v. Dougherty (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 600, this decision holds that when a defendant pays a default judgment entered against him before successfully moving to vacate the default judgment (and hence before filing an answer), Civ. Code 1717(b)(2) applies, making the defendant the prevailing party for purposes of a fee award if the plaintiff… Read More

Ordinarily, an order on a motion for an attorney fee award is appealable as a post-judgment order under CCP 904.1(a)(2).  But here, to maintain the trial court's jurisdiction to enforce a settlement agreement, the parties agreed that judgment would not be entered dismissing the action until after defendant had paid the settlement amount and any attorney fees awarded by the… Read More

A defendant that files an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike under CCP 425.16 may seek attorney fees (based on prevailing on the Anti-SLAPP motion) in one of three ways:  as part of the Anti-SLAPP motion, by a post-judgment memorandum of costs, or by a post-judgment motion for an attorney fee award.  This decision holds that if the defendant chooses either of… Read More

Following Duale v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 718, this decision holds that a valid and reasonable section 998 offer by the seller, where the buyer recovers less than the offer, precludes recovery by the buyer of post-offer attorneys’ fees and costs under Code of Civil Procedure section 1794(d) of the Song-Beverly Warranty Act claim.  Here, the defendant's initial… Read More

A district court may approve a class action settlement that provides monetary relief only in the form of cy pres payments to non-parties, so long as distribution to class members is not possible and the recipients of the cy pres payments are appropriately chosen in light of the nature of the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, the objectives of the underlying statutes, and… Read More

A breach of contract is not "wrongful conduct" sufficient to support a claim for interference with prospective economic relationships.  Here, plaintiff narrowed its claim to interference based on the defendant's breach of a nondisclosure agreement.  Held, the trial court erred in submitting that claim to the jury since it was the court's responsibility to determine whether the alleged conduct was… Read More

Plaintiff recovered a $115,000 jury verdict after having rejected defendant's $200,000 998 offer.  This decision holds that the defendant's post-offer costs awarded by the trial court under CCP 998 must be subtracted from the $115,000 jury verdict before computing the amount of the judgment payable to the workers' comp. lienor under Lab. Code 3856.  Since the post-offer costs exceeded $115,000,… Read More

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