Validity of Retainer Agreement Contractual Arbitration Provisions and Pro Per Attorney Defendant Eligibility for 128.7 Sanctions At Issue.
Yesterday, the California Supreme Court heard argument on the following two cases of interest in the fee recovery arena:
- Schatz v. Allen Matkins Lack Gamble & Mallory LLP, Case No. S150371 (formerly published at 146 Cal.App.4th 674): Is enforcement of a preexisting arbitration agreement as to a fee dispute between an attorney and client precluded by the Mandatory Fee Arbitration Act (Bus. & Prof. Code, sec. 6200 et seq.)?
- Musaelian v. Adams (Warner), Case No. S156045 (formerly published at 153 Cal.App.4th 882): Was defendant, an attorney representing himself in a civil action, entitled to an award of attorney’s fees as a sanction against the plaintiff under Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7 for engaging in frivolous litigation?
For those wanting more reaction by attorneys involved in the two cases, see Laura Ernde’s article, “High Court to Hear Challenge to Arbitration of Legal Fee Disputes,” in the November 5, 2008 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal.