In a supplement to our normal Top 20 California fees/costs decision (sorry, Dave Letterman, beard and all, we doubled your efforts even though you are in retirement but we enjoyed your Top 10 every night you were on air), here is a summary of cases pending in front of the California Supreme Court on issues of interest to our blog. We wish all our readers very Happiest of Holidays. Again, any listing is not meant to imply any priority on importance of issues.
1. Lafitte v. Robert Half International, Inc., S222996—2d Dist. Div. 7, 231 Cal.App.4th 860 (Segal, J., L.A. Superior Court Judge appointed by designation and subsequently a sitting Justice) [former published cite; initially discussed in our Nov. 7, 2014 post]. Here is the issue which the state supreme court is focusing on: “Does Serrano v. Priest, 20 Cal.3d 25 (1977) permit a trial court to anchor its calculation of a reasonable attorney’s fees award in a class action on a percentage of the common fund recovered?”
2. Los Angeles County Bd. of Supervisors v. Superior Court, S226645—2d Dist., Div. 3, 235 Cal.App.4th 1154 (Aldrich, J.) [former published cite; initially discussed in our April 19, 2015 post]. Here is the framed issue by the state supreme court: “Are invoices for legal services sent to the County of Los Angeles by outside counsel within the scope of the attorney-client privilege and exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, even with all references to attorney opinions, advice and similar information redacted?”
3. DisputeSuite.com, LLC v. Scoreinc.com, S226652—2d Dist., Div. 2, 235 Cal.App.4th 1261 (Ashmann-Gerst, J. [former published cite; initially discussed in our April 15, 2015 post]. Here is the issue: “Were defendants entitled to an award of attorney fees under Civil Code section 1717 as the prevailing parties in an action on contract when they obtained the dismissal of the action on procedural grounds pursuant to a Florida forum selection clause?” This primarily pits contrary results by the 4th Dist, Div. 3 in the Profit Concepts and PNEC Corp. decisions.
4. Mountain Air Enterprises, LLC v. Sundowner Towers, LLC, S223536—lst Dist., Div. 2, 231 Cal.App.4th 805 (Stewart, J. [maj. opn.]; Richman, J. [dis. opn.]) [former published cite; initially discussed in our Nov. 21, 2014 post]. “This case includes the following issues: (1) Does the assertion of an agreement as an affirmative defense implicate the attorney fee provision in that agreement? (2) Does the term ‘action’ or ‘proceeding’ in Civil Code section 1717 and in attorney fee provisions encompass the assertion of an affirmative defense?” This case was fully briefed as of August 6, 2015.
5. deSaulles v. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, S219236—6th Dist., 225 Cal.App.4th 1427 (Grover, J.) [former published cite; initially discussed in our May 4, 2014 post]. “This case presents the following issue: When plaintiff dismissed her action in exchange for the defendant’s payment of a monetary settlement, was she the prevailing party for purposes of an award of costs under Code of Civil Procedure section 1032, subdivision (a)(4), because she was ‘the party with a net monetary recovery,’ or was defendant the prevailing party because it was ‘a defendant in whose favor a dismissal is entered’?” This case is scheduled for oral argument on January 5, 2016 before the California Supreme Court.
Happy New Year, everyone!