However, Appellate Court Found Small “Fees on Fees” Award To Be Abuse of Discretion.
In a third round of appeals, P&D Consultants, Inc. v. City of Oakland, Case No. D060760 (4th Dist., Div. 1 Nov. 27, 2013) (unpublished), the appellate court considered whether the trial judge properly fixed attorneys’ fees under California’s prompt payment statutes in construction disputes. The trial judge had awarded prevailing City $266,870.40 in fees, primarily the lodestar request plus a 10% enhancement (including work on a cross-complaint) and only $2,250 for “fees on fees” work (presenting the fee motion for adjudication).
The appellate court primarily affirmed this one, although reversing and remanding on two points: including work on the cross-complaint and abusing discretion in only awarding the small “fees on fees” amount given that the “fees on fees” higher request was not unreasonable in nature. (Too severe of a cut on the “fees on fees.”)
FAVORITE QUOTE FROM CASE--The reviewing court quoted Abraham Lincoln as follows: “In law it is a good policy never to plead what you need not, lest you oblige yourself to prove what you cannot.” With that, we hope everyone has had a Happy Thanksgiving holiday break.
Honest Abe on the stump. Library of Congress.