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Attorneys' Fees and Costs

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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

In In re Penrod, 2013 WL 1962338 (N.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Gonzalez-Rogers held that the debtor was not entitled to her attorneys’ fees incurred in this protracted litigation because recovery of fees derived purely from state law, which, the bankruptcy court had determined did not afford a right to attorneys’ fees. Penrod’s tortured procedural history was summarized as follows: Ultimately the bankruptcy… Read More

In Fitzgerald v. Law Office of Curtis O. Barnes, 2013 WL 1627740 (E.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Austin rejected application of the Laffey Matrix or Consumer Law Attorney Fee Survey Report as a basis to compute a fee rate under the FDCPA. In support of the requested hourly rates for counsel, Plaintiff adduces the United States Consumer Law Attorney Fee Survey Report… Read More

In Hardison v. Kia Motors America, Inc., --- S.E.2d ----, 2013 WL 1110674 (N.C.App. 2013), the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order of attorneys’ fees in a lemon law case where the manufacturer had done the right thing once it learned of the lemon law claim.  Defendant also contends the trial court erred in awarding plaintiffs attorney's fees… Read More

In Arutyunyan v. Cavalry Portfolio Services, 2013 WL 500452 (C.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Gutierrez found that Plaintiff’s counsel’s pleadings did not arise to the level of misconduct that would allow an award of reverse attorneys’ fees under FCRA and the FDCPA, but did under other federal law. Under FCRA, the Court explained: As a threshold matter, § 1681n(c) imposes attorneys' fees… Read More

In Balikian v. Ally Financial, Inc., 2012 WL 5518853 (C.D.Cal. 2012), Judge Wu catalogued the well document history of a FCRA plaintiff’s lawyer in the Central District for filing FCRA complaints. Plaintiff's counsel, Arshak Bartoumian, has a recent and well-documented history of failing to oppose pending motions, failing to appear at hearings, filing last-minute motions for leave to amend on… Read More

In Sands & Associates v. Julnavorian (2012) 2012 DAR 13972, the California Court of Appeal held that A law firm that is the prevailing party in a lawsuit may not recover fees of its "of counsel" lawyer which represented the firm.  Of counsel lawyers are so closely tied to the law firm that the rule barring fee awards to pro se… Read More

In a decision that is important to auto finance companies liable under the FTC Holder Rule where the assigning dealer is defunct, the Fifth District Court of Appeal held in Pierce v. Western Sur. Co., --- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, 2012 WL 2362579 (Cal.App. 5 Dist.), that an Automobile Dealer Surety Bond also covered the attorneys’ fees incurred by a consumer Plaintiff’s… Read More

In Zavodnick v. Gordon & Weisberg, P.C., 2012 WL 2036493 (E.D.Pa. 2012), Judge Diamond whacked an FDCPA Plaintiff’s counsel’s fee application, rejecting as irrelevant and unreliable the boilerplate ‘fee surveys’ often submitted to justify exorbitant rates.  Judge Diamond explained: In support, Kimmel & Silverman has submitted evidence relevant to law practice in other regions. The firm offers affidavits from two… Read More

We recently argued, in opposing an attorneys' fee motion, that a survey of attorneys fee rates across the country – and in California –was unreliable as supporting evidence of a reasonable attorneys' fee rate.  We argued   Plaintiffs’ counsel states that they “maintain an updated survey of free rates charged by other California consumer protection attorneys.”  No they don’t.  They just… Read More

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