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Prevailing Parties

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Gov. Code 91003 allows an attorney fee award to the prevailing party in an action seeking injunctive relief to enjoin violations or to compel compliance with the provisions of the Political Reform Act.  This case holds that the statute does not pit impecunious plaintiffs against well-healed defendants.  So, the prevailing party standard adopted in Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc. (1994) 510… Read More

On claims to which Civ. Code 1717 applies (claims on a contract), the statute's definition of "prevailing party" supersedes any definition of that term in the parties' contract.  In applying the Hsu v. Abbara (1995) 9 Cal.4th 863 test of prevailing party, the trial court may  not consider settlement offers the parties have made either informally or under CCP 998… Read More

If a defendant unsuccessfully moves to compel arbitration of a lawsuit filed against it, the lawsuit continues in court.  So for purposes of Civ. Code 1717, the plaintiff does not become the prevailing party on the contract simply by defeating the motion to compel arbitration.  However, if not yet having been sued, a party files an independent petition to compel… Read More

Under CCP 1032(a), a prevailing party is entitled to a cost award even if it is united in interest with co-parties that did not prevail, but the trial court has discretion in awarding only those jointly incurred costs which were reasonably necessary to the prevailing party’s case.  Read More