Trial Judge Got Allocation Of Policy Benefit-Oriented Fees Right.
Saddleback Inn, LLC v. Certain Underwriters of Lloyd's London, Case No. G051121 (4th Dist., Div. 3 Mar. 30, 2017) (unpublished) involved an insured which was awarded $2.8 million against an insurer based on a policy reformation as well as $50,000 in punitive damages. The trial judge (Frederick P. Aguirre) then awarded $1,062,116.78 in fees and costs under Brandt (one of our Leading Cases). The appellate court, in a 3-0 opinion authored by Presiding Justice O'Leary, found the fee/costs award to be just right: 30% of plaintiff's efforts at pursuing the policy benefits were awarded, which matched up with the 30% contingency arrangement.
BONUS: From the website of the Orange County Historical Society: "In 1984, Gelker sold the Saddleback Inn to a group of investors that included former President Nixon's Chief of Staff (and key Watergate figure) H.R. Haldeman. From then on, the Inn went into a steady decline, and a series of owners, culminating in a string of fires and the demolition of the majority of the buildings in 2013.
But between its rise and its fall, the story of this landmark Orange County business was full of twists, turns, fascinating personalities, and historic moments."