Prior Appellate Court Conclusion Was Binding On Fee Entitlement.
Steele v. Spina, Case No. A127959 (1st Dist., Div. 3 Oct. 21, 2010) (unpublished) is a good illustration of where the “law of the case” doctrine will prevent a second bite challenge to a fee award. A prior appellate court opinion held that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enforce a settlement but that it properly awarded attorney’s fees to the defendant as the prevailing party based on a fees clause in the settlement agreement. (Wilson v. Wilson, 54 Cal.2d 264, 272 (1960) [contractual fees clause generally allows for an award of attorney’s fees rendered on appeal as well as during trial ].) Because the attorney’s fees issue was squarely decided against appellants in the previous appeal, they were not entitled to a “second bite of the apple.” (Slip Opn, p. 3.)