Meyer v. Brown, Case No. D066226 (4th Dist., Div. 1 Oct. 14, 2015) (Unpublished)—Family Law.
In this one, after an evidentiary hearing in which the court dismissed a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO), the prevailing party recovered $7,500 out of a requested $15,800 in fees. The fee-assessed, losing party appealed, but to no avail. The fee issue can be raised after the DVRO hearing, Faton v. Ahmedo, 236 Cal.App.4th 1160, 1170 (2015), especially given prevailing party checked wanting fees under Judicial Council Form DV-120; the lower court actually denied the DVRO request without prejudice rather than an outright dismissal; and there is no statutory or court rule indicating when the fee request could be brought—using general laches principles, the request was not untimely in prejudicial fashion (even though brought two months later).
Deutsch v. Martin, Case No. B259527 (2d Dist., Div. 7 Oct. 14, 2015) (Unpublished)—Settlement.
In this second case, the lower court granted about $12,000 in fees and costs under a settlement agreement signed by the parties in a CCP § 664.6 proceeding. That award had to be reversed because the settlement agreement clearly provided each side would bear fees/costs connected with the settlement agreement; the lower court had no ability to create new terms never agreed to by the parties.
Storm v. Rite Aid Corp., Case No. B254328 (2d Dist., Div. 2 Oct. 14, 2015) (Unpublished)—Civil Rights/Employment.
The third case involves a plaintiff winning a wrongful termination suit against Rite Aid, then moving for attorney’s fees of about $1.6 million (lodestar times two) under the private attorney general statute, CCP § 1021.5. The lower court denied the fees, a result affirmed on appeal. The reason was that plaintiff was only vindicating an individual self-interest, not some greater public interest in the wrongful termination action.
Estate of Maciel, Case No. B258896 (2d Dist., Div. 5 Oct. 14, 2015) (Unpublished)—Probate.
Fees were awarded to an estate administrator’s attorney to the tune of a little under $8,000. The objector appealed, claiming no fee entitlement basis. But that did not hold up on appeal, given that Probate Code section 1064(b) does allow for compensation to an estate administrator’s attorney.