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Attorneys' Fees and Costs

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Interpreting eleven (11) declarations from attorneys' on both sides of the FDCPA bar, Magistrate Judge Beeler reduced the rates sought by the Plaintiff's counsel in an FDCPA case in Bidwal v. Unifund Ccr, No. 3:17-cv-02699-LB, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147004, at *17-23 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 27, 2019).  The facts and outcome were summarized by the Court. The plaintiff defaulted on… Read More

In Cavalry SPV I, LLC v. Watkins, No. D072299, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 603, at *12-15 (Ct. App. July 1, 2019), the California Court of Appeal addressed the evidence necessary to prove up a credit card debt in a debt collection action. Assuming without  deciding that California law applies, a party may accept a contract by conduct, as well as… Read More

In Duran v. Quantum Auto Sales, Inc., 2017 WL 6334220, at *5 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2017), the Court of Appeal held in an unpublished decision held that the FTC Holder Rule does not limit attorneys' fees but the Plaintiff's recovery against the Holder is limited to those fees/costs that resulted from litigation of claims against it. We therefore turn to Veros's alternative… Read More

In Medina v. South Coast Car Company, 2017 WL 4128076, at *8 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2017), the Court of Appeal held that a settlement agreement entitling Plaintiff to attorneys' fees was not capped by the FTC Holder Rule. In light of the Settlement and section 5, which, the parties agreed, made Medina the “prevailing party,” it is clear from the plain… Read More

In Clayton v. Ford Motor Company, 2017 WL 2859628 (4th Dist., Div. 2 2017) (unpublished), the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's cut of a consumer's attorney fee request in a Song-Beverly case, finding that the trial court properly set the consumer lawyers' rate at $275/hour and reduced the fee claim for work done on matters for which… Read More

In Goglin v. BMW of North America, LLC, 2016 WL 6135482, at *5–6 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2016), the Court of Appeal held that a so-called Benson response to a CLRA letter does not immunize an auto dealer/manufacturer from attorneys' fees incurred to prosecute a claim under the Song-Beverly Act. Both BMW North America and BMW San Diego contend Goglin is… Read More

In In re Penrod, --- F.3d ---- (2015), the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that the debtor who prevailed in the “hanging-paragraph” litigation was entitled to attorneys’ fees under Civil Code § 1717. AmeriCredit does not contest that the contract contains a unilateral attorney’s fees provision for purposes of the second condition. Nor does it contest that… Read More

In Benson v. Southern California Auto Sales, Inc., 2015 WL 5047611 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2015), the California Court of Appeal found that a car dealer who lost at trial nevertheless was not responsible for $171k in attorneys' fees incurred by Plaintiff because the dealer had offered full relief in response to the 30-day CLRA letter at the inception of the… Read More

In Mega RV Corporation v. HWH Corporation, 2014 WL 1691371 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2014), here, the California Court of Appeal held that the Song Beverly Act does not apply to component part manufactures unless they gave an express warranty.    Civ. Code section 1792, part of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, provides that every retail sale of consumer goods is accompanied… Read More

In In re: Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, Telephone Consumer Protection Act Litigation, here, Judge Houston held that the Plaintiff had adequately pleaded vicarious liability under the TCPA, and refused, at the pleadings stage, to strike Plaintiff’s prayer to recovery attorneys’ fees under the TCPA to the extent permitted by Code of Civil Procedure § 1021.5. In opposition, plaintiffs contend their… Read More

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