Appellate Court Did Not Entertain New Arguments For Reductions Made On Appeal.
In the attorney’s fees area, you usually do not want to be in a position to solely challenge the amount of fees given a deferential abuse of discretion standard on appeal. That is where appellant went in Hammond v. Promenade Imports LLC, Case No. D070448 (4th Dist., Div. 1 Sept. 23, 2016) (unpublished), but it did not avail the losing defendant.
Plaintiff won a $30,035.84 compensatory award under the Automobile Sales Finance Act, which has a fee-shifting clause in favor of the consumer. The lower court then awarded $61,901.25 in fees to plaintiff, drawing an appeal by defendant that the fee award was excessive.
Defendant did not gain any further traction on appeal. The problem here is that the defense raised new arguments for reduction never made below, a “no no” before a reviewing court. Appellate courts will not generally grant de novo review to fee amount determinations, unless the math does not add up or improper factors were utilized in coming to the award—none of which occurred here.