The pragmatic end result of this next appellate decision is hard to argue with; after all, I think most of us (attorneys, judges, and the public) would think that a filing of an acknowledgment of satisfaction means just that--finito, case ended, no more exposure.
In Essex Ins. Co. v. Professional Building Contractors, Inc., Case No. B237236 (2d Dist., Div. 2 Dec. 4, 2012) (unpublished), the appellate court did not fuss with defendant insured’s propositions that attorney’s fees are recoverable under Brandt v. Superior Court, 37 Cal.3d 813 (1985) for posttrial proceedings to obtain policy benefits or for appellate proceedings to prosecute an appeal against an insurer to obtain policy benefits--although no published California decision so squarely decided. However, the rub here was more fundamental: the motion seeking further fees was filed after plaintiff signed an acknowledgment of full satisfaction of judgment which, in the end, was finito and deemed a waiver of any right to seek additional attorney’s fees and costs. (Carnes v. Zamani, 488 F.3d 1057, 1060-1061 (9th Cir. 2007).)
Goodbye, yellow brick Brandt road.