This decision questions whether Olson v. Arnett (1980) 113 Cal.App.3d 59 and Navellier v. Sletten (2003) 106 Cal.App.4th 763 are correctly decided insofar as they hold that the American Rule (codified in CCP 1021) bars an award of attorney fees as damages for breach of a settlement agreement—the fees having been incurred in further defense of the suit that the breaching party was to have dismissed.  But the court ultimately doesn’t decide that issue since it reverses the damage award for lack of admissible evidence of the attorney fees reasonably incurred in the UD action which defendant agreed to dismiss as part of the settlement.  The only witness at the trial had no knowledge of the legal services performed, did not bring the attorney’s invoices with him to trial, and was otherwise unknowledgeable about the fees charged and their reasonableness.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Fybel, J.); October 19, 2018 (published November 13, 2018); 29 Cal. App. 5th 1