Although Trial Court Lacked Jurisdiction Over The Dispute In California, Fee Denials On Dueling Motions Was Justified Because Siblings Had To Await Determination In Texas Action.
In Savage v. Savage, Case No. A150984 (1st Dist., Div. 1 Oct. 15, 2018) (unpublished) [parenthetically, maybe a good case name for court disputes – no?], two siblings had quite a dispute about promissory notes, with litigation over the dispute occurring in California probate court and then a Texas court. The California probate court determined the California notes were extinguished, but denied dueling motions for contractual attorney’s fees by both sides on the basis that no one prevailed.
The appellate court affirmed, but for a very different reason. It first determined that the probate court had no jurisdiction to determine the sibling dispute, although having jurisdiction to determine the fee proceeding based on Barry v. State Bar of California, 2 Cal.5th 318, 320-321 (2017). However, affirmance was required because no merits determination was made of the sibling dispute given that this required awaiting what occurred in Texas. (DisputeSuite.com, LLC v. Scoreinc.com, 2 Cal.5th 968, 973, 977 n. 1, 981 (2017) [our Leading Case No. 21].)