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In this proceeding under the Hague Convention on Child Abduction and International Child Abduction Remedies Act (22 USC 9001 et seq.) the father was entitled to an attorney fee award as he had successfully obtained an order requiring the divorced mother to return the child to him.  However, the father served his attorney fee motion only four days before the… Read More

When a partner dissociates himself from a partnership, the partnership is required buy out the interest of the dissociating partner.  Corp. Code 16701(i) provides that the trial court may, in its discretion, award attorney's and expert's fees to the prevailing party and against a party that the court finds acted arbitrarily, vexatiously, or not in good faith.  This decision holds… Read More

The district court erred in enhancing an attorney fee award after settlement of a class action.  It should not have enhanced the fee simply because the plaintiff's attorney spent many hours on the case, particularly as much of that time was spent on discovery.  Since the defendant usually cannot retaliate, there is an incentive for class counsel to run up… Read More

This case holds that when a settling defendant in a class action agrees to pay a reasonable attorney's fee to the plaintiff's attorney separately from the amount paid in settlement of class members' claims, City of Burlington v. Dague (1992) 112 S.Ct. 2638 applies, and the court may not enhance the fee award to compensate for contingency risk. Read More

CAFA's provision (28 USC 1712) limiting attorney fees in coupon settlements applies to any class action in federal court, whether filed there originally or removed there from state court, and regardless of whether the class action claims are based on federal or state law.  Parties cannot avoid section 1712 by providing that the settlement agreement is to be construed and… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in declining to apportion plaintiff's attorney fees between the Song-Beverly Act claim (on which fees were awardable by statute) and the fraudulent concealment claim (a non-fee-bearing claim) since the two claims were based on a common set of facts.  In selecting a 2.0 multiplier on fees, the trial court did not improperly… Read More

In this case, after plaintiff demanded that it do so, a restaurant altered its premises to make it conform to current standards of accessability for the disabled.  However, the restaurant was under no statutory duty to do so.  H&S Code 19955 did not require the alterations because the restaurant was not newly constructed nor had it undergone other alterations that… Read More

A dispute between a client and an attorney over which owned the attorney fees awarded to the "prevailing party" in the underlying litigation was in the nature of a claim for specific performance of the fee agreement or for determination of ownership of property not in the plaintiff's possession, both of which were equitable claims.  So there was no right… Read More

Following Flannery v. Prentice (2001) 26 Cal.4th 572, this decision holds that absent a clear provision to the contrary in the client's fee agreement with its lawyer, the attorney fees awarded to a prevailing party under Civil Code, § 3426.4 (part of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act) belong to the attorney, not the client to the extent they exceed fees… Read More

Government Code section 12974 provides for one-way attorney fee awards in favor of the DFEH, if successful in discrimination suits it brings.  That statute conflicts with CCP 1021.5 to the extent that 1021.5 would permit a successful defendant to obtain a fee award against the DFEH in a discrimination suit.  Since section 12974 is the more specific statute, it prevails… Read More

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