David J. McMahon

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David McMahon is the Managing Partner in Barger & Wolen LLP’s San Francisco office. His practice focuses on large complex litigation. He has worked on numerous high-profile litigation matters involving life settlements, multi-million dollar insurance coverage disputes relating to intellectual property matters, wage and hour litigation, environmental claims, directors and officers liability insurance, maritime matters, and cases involving alleged insurer bad faith.
His expertise also includes international marine transactional work with experience in negotiating shipbuilding contracts. He also has experience in appellate litigation, reinsurance litigation and counseling clients on attorney fee disputes and ethical issues relating to the practice of law.
Mr. McMahon has extensive experience in matters relating to computer-related discovery, large case document management, and the efficient use of technology to streamline the handling of large cases.
He is a co-editor of the firm’s Litigation Management & Attorney Fee Analysis blog, and a California State Chair for the Council on Litigation Management.


Articles By This Author

Technical Rejection of Fee Claim Is Overruled By Court of Appeal

In Marriage of Sharples, 2014 DJDAR 823 (2014), the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District overturned the outright rejection of a request for fees by the trial court. The judge rejected the fee claim on technical grounds: the failure to file proper Judicial Council forms in support of the application for fees.

A husband and wife were engaged in marriage dissolution proceedings. The wife filed a request for the husband to pay her $20,000 in attorney fees pursuant to Family Code Section 2030. That statute is intended to provide financial parity between the parties at the outset of dissolution proceedings. In support of the request, she submitted a declaration stating that the husband was the chief executive officer of a company with significant annual income. The wife was also employed at the company but earned only $700 per month.

Her attorney also submitted a declaration in support of the application, including his billing rates, and the request for an accountant to assist on the case. The husband opposed the fee application. The family court judge then denied the request for fees on the grounds that the wife failed to fill out and submit Judicial Council form FL‑319 in support of the application.

The wife appealed the trial court’s decision and the Court of Appeal reversed. 

The Court of Appeal noted that Family Code Section 2030 authorizes the family court to award reasonable attorney fees and costs based on financial need. The court is required to balance the parties’ financial resources in making a decision. 

Rule 5.93(a) of the California Rules of Court provides that the party making the request must file and serve a set of documents, including Judicial Council form FL‑319, entitled “Request for Attorney’s Fees and Costs Attachment.” The court noted, however, that in lieu of this form, the party may file a declaration that addresses the factors set forth in Judicial Council form FL‑319.

Because Rule 5.93(a) gave the fee applicant an option to file either a form FL‑319 or a comparable declaration, the Court of Appeal concluded that the wife properly complied with the applicable rules. The court overturned the decision on that basis.

 

Attorney fees properly discharged under bankruptcy law in family law matter

In Bendetti v. Gunness, 2014 DJDAR 623 (2014), the US Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (“BAP”) for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the bankruptcy court’s decision. The bankruptcy court ruled that an attorney fee award was properly discharged under federal bankruptcy law.

Patricia Gunness filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy petition was filed as she and her husband owed more than $280,000 in attorney fees to the husband’s ex‑wife from a judgment rendered in a fraud case.

The wife filed an adversary proceeding against the ex‑wife, seeking to discharge the debt. In response, the ex‑wife argued that the debt was not dischargeable because it constituted a “support award” under controlling Bankruptcy Code provisions.

he wife filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the attorney fee award was not a “support award” as a matter of law under Bankruptcy Code Section 523(a)(5). In granting the summary judgment motion, the bankruptcy court determined that a family relationship was required to protect a debt from discharge.  The bankruptcy court reasoned that because there was no familial relationship between the current wife and the former spouse, the provisions of Section 523(a)(5) did not apply.

The BAP affirmed the decision of the lower court. The BAP noted that under Section 523(a)(5), certain debts are not dischargeable, such as those claims for alimony, maintenance, or support. However, that provision requires that the “spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor” must be owed the money as a prerequisite to protect the debt from dischargeability.

The BAP concluded that because neither the ex‑wife nor her lawyer was a “spouse, former spouse, or child” of the current wife, the provisions of Section 523(a)(5) did not apply. The BAP affirmed the decision of the bankruptcy court.

Trial Court Fails To Adequately Explain Basis for Cuts. Reduction in Fee Award Reversed.

In Carter v. Caleb Brett LLC, 2014 DJDAR 1412 (2014), the US Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit reversed a decision of the district court, making a significant reduction in a fee award. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the district judge’s decision was not supported by a sufficient explanation for the downward modifications taken.

After the adverse decision on the fee petition, the plaintiff appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit reviewed the district court’s award of $14,268.50 in attorney fees and costs. The full amount requested by the plaintiff was $22,585.00. The record on appeal revealed that the district court determined that the reasonable hourly rate for the type of work at issue in the relevant geographic area was $400.00. The district court, however, reduced the number of compensable hours from 60.9 to 35 hours. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the reduction was inappropriate as the court failed to provide an appropriate explanation for the cuts.

The Ninth Circuit noted that the district court has latitude on determining fee awards. However, the award and any reduction must be supported by specific explanations of the reasons for both the award and any reductions. Courts must reach an attorney fee decision by considering the factors enumerated in Kerr v. Screen Extras Guild Inc., 526 F.2d 67 (9th Cir. 1975).

The main factors set forth in Kerr include the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions presented, the skill required to perform the legal services properly, the preclusion of other employment due to the acceptance of the case, and the attorney’s customary fees. 

The Ninth Circuit noted that the district court referred to some of the Kerr factors in its analysis, but did not explain which factors justified a significant reduction in the fee request. The district court’s decision was vacated on that basis.

Can lawyers contractually agree to preclude a court from reviewing an arbitration award?

In Burton v. Class Counsel, 2013 DJDAR 16253 (2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal decided a unique case under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The court decided the issue of whether lawyers can contractually agree to preclude a court from reviewing an arbitration award. The question was of first impression in the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit concluded that the statutory grounds for review of an award under the FAA may not be waived or eliminated by contract by the parties involved in litigation.

The appeal arose from a protracted dispute. It involved multidistrict litigation relating to employees’ wage‑and‑hour claims against Wal‑Mart. The matter settled for $85 million, and the parties agreed to have a special master resolve any fee disputes that might arise between the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.

The lower court granted almost $28 million in attorney fees to the plaintiffs. The co‑lead counsel then disputed the proper allocation of the fee award. The fee dispute was submitted to arbitration, and the arbitrator allocated $6 million to the Burton firm and $11 million to the Bosignore law firm.

Bosignore moved to confirm the award in federal district court.  Burton filed papers to overturn the decision of the special master. The district court confirmed the decision. After Burton appealed, Bosignore argued the Ninth Circuit had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal, as the lawyers privy to the arbitration agreement had a contractual agreement which precluded any appeals.

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s decision. The court noted that the FAA provides that federal district courts have the power to review arbitration awards. Under the FAA, a district court can reverse an award but only under specified circumstances. Some examples include where the award was obtained by misconduct of the arbitrator.

After reviewing the record, the Ninth Circuit could find none of the justifications for vacating an arbitration award. The Ninth Circuit also concluded the court held that the FAA does not allow parties to waive the grounds for vacating an arbitration award. The court noted that allowing such a result could undermine the important public policy goals of the FAA.

Are "pro hac vice" counsel entitled to recover costs?

In Kalitta Air LLC v. Central Texas Airborne System Inc., 2013 DJDAR 16393 (2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided a unique issue which other federal circuits have reached different conclusions on. The main issue related to whether attorneys who are temporarily admitted to practice in a jurisdiction (pro hac vice) are entitled to recover the costs incurred to allow the pro hac vice representation.

Kalitta Air LLC (Kalitta) sued Central Texas Airborne System Inc. (CTAS). The district court ruled favorably for CTAS. CTAS then filed a cost bill seeking $691,591.73 from Kalitta. The cost bill included $1,310 in costs paid by CTAS’s counsel to be admitted as counsel “pro hac vice.”

Kalitta petitioned the district court to review the award, arguing that the court incorrectly awarded CTAS $1,310 in pro hac vice admission fees. The trial court affirmed the decision, stating that such an award was appropriate.

Kalitta appealed and the Ninth Circuit reversed the decision of the trial court. The Ninth Circuit noted that when a party wins a civil lawsuit, that party should be awarded recoverable costs. The Ninth Circuit noted that costs are appropriately awarded for fees paid by attorneys to be “permanently admitted.”  No such award is allowed for counsel admitted pro hac vice.

The Ninth Circuit noted that the Seventh and Eighth Circuits have rendered decisions allowing costs for pro hac vice admission of counsel. The Ninth Circuit noted the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Taniguchi v. Kan Pac. Saipan Ltd.  There the Court ruled that “costs are limited to relatively minor, incidental expenses.” The Ninth Circuit overturned the district court’s ruling on that basis.

Third Party is Liable For Attorney Fees to Party Damaged by Fraudulent Conveyance

In Cardinale v. Miller, 2014 DJDAR 252 (2014), the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District decided a unique civil procedure issue arising out of an attorney fee award to a judgment creditor. The court granted an award to a creditor for fees incurred in enforcing a judgment.

The case arose out of contentious litigation regarding alleged improper consumer loans. The plaintiff filed suit to enforce judgments she had previously won against the defendants in a fraud case. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants were engaged in a Ponzi scheme to shield their assets from collection of the judgment. She further alleged that specified third parties aided the attempts to hide the potentially recoverable assets. After trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff.

The jury awarded compensatory damages of $2,170,593, in addition to $900,000 in punitive damages, and $293,937.50 in attorney fees to the plaintiff against the direct defendant and the third party. The third party argued that he should not be required to pay attorney fees, because he was not found culpable as a judgment debtor.

The court cited to Code of Civil Procedure Section 685.040 in support of the award. The court of appeal noted that the statute authorizes a judgment creditor to recover fees incurred in enforcing a judgment, if the underlying judgment included an award of fees as costs. Two prerequisites must be met before a motion for an award of attorney fees is appropriate:

  1. The fees must have been incurred to enforce a judgment, and
  2. The underlying judgment must have included an award of attorney fees. 

Here, the court noted that the plaintiff’s action satisfied both of the necessary criteria.

The court stated that it did not matter that the third party was not the “original judgment debtor.” Because the statutory language did not prohibit the plaintiff from recovering attorney fees from the culpable third party, this court saw no reason to impose such a limitation. The court of appeal concluded that the attorney fees award against both defendants was appropriate under the circumstances.

Attorney Fees Are Not Proper Where Plaintiff Dismisses Claims for Unlawful Debt Collection Practices

In Tourgeman v. Nelson & Kennard, 2014 DJDAR 587 (2014), the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided an interesting collection case which resulted in an attorney fee award. The Court of Appeal disagreed with the lower court decision and reversed the trial court award of fees.

In 2012, the plaintiff filed a class action against Nelson & Kennard (NK). The suit alleged improper debt collection practices concerning the purchase of a computer. The plaintiff alleged that NK sent collection letters to consumers that misrepresented the identity of the creditor. The plaintiff sought an injunction to prevent NK from engaging in alleged improper debt collection practices, prospectively.

In response, NK filed a special motion to strike, seeking to dismiss the plaintiff’s lawsuit pursuant to California’s Anti‑SLAPP statute. In response, and to avoid the special motion to strike, the plaintiff filed a voluntary dismissal “without prejudice.”

NK then petitioned for attorney fees under the anti‑SLAPP statute. The plaintiff objected, arguing that NK would not have prevailed on the anti‑SLAPP motion as the cause of action fell into the “public interest” exception of the statute. The trial court disagreed, and awarded NK attorney fees and costs.

The Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the trial court. The Court of Appeal stated that if an action is brought “solely” in the public interest, the anti‑SLAPP statute generally does not apply. To satisfy the “public interest” exception, the plaintiff must not seek any relief greater than, or different from, the relief sought for the general public and the action must enforce an important right affecting the public interest. Also, private enforcement must be necessary due to the financial burden on the plaintiff.

When a defendant is successful on an anti‑SLAPP motion, the statute authorizes an award of attorney fees and costs to the prevailing defendant. The Court of Appeal noted that here, the plaintiff’s putative class action sought injunctive relief to benefit the general public. As such, this court concluded that his claim was brought “solely in the public interest” and fell squarely within the public interest exception. The Court of Appeal concluded that the attorney fees were not appropriate on this basis.

 

Standing in the shoes of a third party? Plan to pay the attorney fees.

In Apex LLC v. Korusfood.com, 2014 DJDAR 248 (2014), the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District affirmed an attorney fee award rendered by the trial court. The court of appeal concluded that a third party who “stands in the shoes” of the contracting party can be liable for fees to the same extent as the original contracting party.

The plaintiff sued Sharing World Inc. (“SW”) and Felix & Sons Inc. (“Felix”), alleging the parties failed to pay for seed that it ordered. Felix later became Korusfood.com (“Korusfood”). The trial court first ruled in favor of SW and Korusfood, but later reversed its ruling.

Following its appellate victory, Apex moved for contractual attorney fees. The defendants argued that Apex could not recover attorney fees from Korusfood, because Korusfood was separate from SW and was not a party to the contract. The trial court granted Apex’s request for attorney fees against both of the entities.

The court of appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision. The court held that even a party who has not signed an agreement may still be bound to an attorney fees provision in a contract if it “stands in the shoes of a party to the contract.” The nonsignatory party can be held liable for a fee award, if it would have been entitled to attorney fees as the prevailing party. This is a commonsense conclusion. Here, even though Korusfood was not a party to the contract, it stood in the shoes of Felix. Thus, the trial court correctly ordered both Korusfood and SW to pay Apex’s attorney fees.

 

Plaintiff Entitled To Appeal Fee Award Despite Bankruptcy Court Plan Confirmation

In Edwards v. Broadwater Casitas Care Center, 2013 DJDAR 15911 (2013), the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District decided an interesting case involving the interplay of a petition for attorney fees rendered in state court and the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Broadwater Casitas Care Center LLC (Broadwater) won a case following an arbitration. The state court affirmed the arbitrator’s award, and further held that Broadwater was entitled to $20,000 in costs and approximately $150,000 in attorney fees. The plaintiff then filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. The bankruptcy petition “scheduled” the cost award, but omitted the fee claim.

In the bankruptcy, Broadwater asserted claims to both the cost and fee awards. The plaintiff did not initially argue against the merits of those claims. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed an appeal in the state court, regarding both the cost and fee awards.

The bankruptcy court then confirmed a repayment plan. The plan required the plaintiff to pay a percentage of both awards.  Broadwater moved to strike the plaintiff’s appeal as moot. Broadwater argued that the bankruptcy court’s order precluded any further challenge of the judgment.

The court of appeal concluded that the confirmation of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan will only preclude a litigant from subsequently raising an issue under very specific circumstances. The court of appeal stated that the bankruptcy court did not have to decide whether the lower court had the authority to impose costs and attorney fees, thus the plaintiff was allowed to subsequently challenge the trial court’s awards. The reasoning for a subsequent challenge is somewhat murky and the holding of this case is perhaps best limited to these specific facts.

 

Contract dispute leads to award of attorney fees

In Eden Township Healthcare District v. Eden Medical Center the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District decided a dispute giving rise to an attorney fee award pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1717.  That statute is California’s reciprocal attorney fee statute.

A local Healthcare District (the “District”) was formed as a public agency to provide health care services to the local community. Eden Medical (“Eden”) operated two hospitals in the same community, Eden Hospital (“EH”) and San Leandro Hospital (“SLH”). 

The first entity, EH, had financial difficulties and consideration was given to shutting that hospital down. The District then decided to replace EH with a new facility. 

Another nonprofit, Sutter Health (“Sutter”), initially agreed to build the new hospital. Later, Sutter scrapped that plan. Then Sutter and the District entered into negotiations and entered into a series of contracts. One of those agreements purported to allow Sutter an option to purchase the second community hospital, SLH.

The agreements between the District and Sutter also included an attorney fees clause. Sutter later decided to exercise its option to buy SLH; however, the hospital was to be modified to provide specialized health care services. The District opposed that plan and it refused to allow Sutter to exercise the option.

Sutter brought a lawsuit, seeking specific performance of the agreement from the District. The District then filed a cross‑complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief seeking to invalidate the agreement with Sutter. The trial court ruled in favor of Sutter and ordered the District to perform the contract and sell SLH. Sutter’s request for attorney fees was denied.

The court of appeal reversed the decision of the trial court on the fee issue. The court of appeal noted that under Civil Code Section 1717, a contract may provide for an award of attorney fees to a prevailing party in a contract dispute. Because the nonprofit was unquestionably the “prevailing party” under Section 1717, a fee award was entirely appropriate.

Older Entries

January 16, 2014 — A technical variance in a "998 offer" can preclude an award of costs

January 13, 2014 — Attorney Fees Are Properly Granted Where School District Improperly Withholds Documents

January 10, 2014 — "Prevailing party" is not limited to successful litigants. Attorney fees awarded in settlement.

January 8, 2014 — Victory on Permit Conditions Does Not Justify Fee Award

January 6, 2014 — Sanctions for Retaining Non Admitted Co Counsel Are Not Proper

December 23, 2013 — Barger & Wolen Partners Author "Insurance Practices and Coverage in Liability Defense"

October 24, 2013 — Legitimate "Newco" Is Entitled To Partial Fee Award

October 22, 2013 — Employee's Retention of Separate Counsel in Radio Station Prank Death Suit Ruled Unnecessary -- Fee Claim Rejected

September 24, 2013 — Mandatory arbitration costs are properly assessed to law firm

September 6, 2013 — Attorney Fees Are Not Justified To State Bar

September 3, 2013 — Prevailing Party in Arbitration is Entitled to Post-Award, Prejudgment Interest Under Nevada Law

August 21, 2013 — Anti-SLAPP "protected activities" include filing of unlawful detainer actions

August 19, 2013 — Attorney fees only awarded to developers of affordable housing projects

August 13, 2013 — Fee Caps Do Not Apply to Prisoners Defending Judgment on Appeal

August 12, 2013 — The Evolution of Technology in Litigation Document Discovery

August 5, 2013 — Pre-Arbitration Award of Attorney Fees Reversed

July 25, 2013 — Litigation: Using Billing Surveys To Determine "Reasonable" Rates

July 19, 2013 — Courts Must Show Their Work When Calculating Attorney Fee

July 15, 2013 — Insured Has Right to Select Independent Counsel

June 28, 2013 — Expert Fees Properly Awarded Under Offer of Judgment

June 27, 2013 — A prerequisite to the recovery of fees: How "reasonable and necessary" are your charges?

June 17, 2013 — Will the protracted litigation between tobacco manufactures and the State of California finally be coming to an end?

June 14, 2013 — Civil Rights Act Violations Entitles Non Profit Group to Fee Award

June 7, 2013 — Unsuccessful Litigant Still Wins Fees Under Vaccine Injury Act

May 28, 2013 — HP Inkjet Printer Litigation: Fee Award Fails to Comply With Provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act

May 28, 2013 — Court Interprets Settlement Agreement to Allow For Fee Recovery

May 22, 2013 — Five-Day Extension For Mailing Applies To Deadline To File Timely Cost Bill

May 20, 2013 — Defense Cost Analysis in Complex Environmental Fee Claims

May 15, 2013 — Last Minute Amendment By Counsel To Augment Fee Claim Rejected By Court

May 14, 2013 — Sanctions Are Issued Where Court Determines That Special Motion To Strike Was Filed For Improper Purpose

March 26, 2013 — Recorded Witness Statements Subject to Qualified Work Product Protection

March 7, 2013 — Startups - Deferred Payment Models for Legal Fees

March 5, 2013 — Hiring Legal Counsel & Initial Litigation Management for Startups

March 4, 2013 — Judicial Economy Implications: Ninth Circuit Sends District Judges Back To School On Calculation Of Attorney Fee Awards

February 20, 2013 — Is It Prejudgment Or Postjudgment Interest? The Conclusion Can Make A Difference

February 13, 2013 — Property Owners Are Entitled To Fee Award Arising From Invalid Claims Made By Homeowners Association

February 11, 2013 — Prevailing Party Attorney Fee Award Is Granted Based On Successful Affirmative Defense Raised In Answer

February 1, 2013 — Attorney Fee Award to Debtor Is Affirmed Where Creditor's "Reasonable Reliance" Claims Have No Merit

January 22, 2013 — Trial Court Abuses Its Discretion by Forcing Insurer to Bear the Cost of Giving Notice to Putative Class Members

January 14, 2013 — Store Owner Entitled to Attorney Fee Award for Successful Defense of Disabled Persons Act Claim

December 12, 2012 — The Lack Of An Enforceable Contract Does Not Require Denial Of Attorney Fees Claim

December 5, 2012 — Offset Required For Attorney Fee Award In Social Security Case

December 4, 2012 — County Counsel Is Eligible to Recover "Costs" But Not "Attorney Fees" In Bail Bond Forfeiture Matter

November 5, 2012 — "Cy Pres" Award to Charity From Class Action Settlement Was Improper

November 2, 2012 — Prevailing Employer Is Entitled To Fee Award

October 31, 2012 — Environmental Group Is Denied Fee Award Even Where It Successfully Challenged Agency Decision

October 30, 2012 — Fee Award Is Proper for Tenant Who Defeats Landlord's Fraud Claim

October 29, 2012 — Magistrate Judge Abuses Discretion by Applying "De Facto" Cap for Attorney Fee Award

October 17, 2012 — Employer Is Not Entitled To A Fee Award In Case Alleging Unpaid Wages

September 25, 2012 — Waiver Of Attorney Fees Contained In Residency Agreement Is Contrary To Public Policy

September 24, 2012 — Fee Award to Insurance Defense Firm May Be at Augmented Rates

September 18, 2012 — Written Fee Agreement Is Not Required For Ordinary Probate Work

September 6, 2012 — Waiver of Agreement to Arbitrate Requires Denial of Petition to Compel Arbitration

August 31, 2012 — Disputed Legal Authority Requires Reversal of Sanctions Award

August 30, 2012 — Public Entity Litigants Are Entitled to Attorney Fee Award Under Private Attorney General Doctrine Even Where Non Financial Interests Are In Play

August 23, 2012 — Ethical Conflicts Dooms Fee Claim in a Major Antitrust Class Action

August 15, 2012 — Private Dispute Under the "Unclaimed Property" Law Does Not Justify an Award of Attorney Fees

July 23, 2012 — Attorney Fees Incurred to Defend the Bankruptcy Court's Stay Violation Order are Subject to Recovery

July 20, 2012 — The JOBS Act & Crowdfunding - Is It For You?

July 20, 2012 — Attorney Member of Public Interest Organization Properly Awarded Attorney Fees

July 13, 2012 — Hiring a Lawyer for Your Startup - Big Firm or Small Firm?

July 5, 2012 — Tips for Selecting an Attorney

July 3, 2012 — Failure to Engage in Mandatory Contractual Mediation Bars Fee Claim

June 22, 2012 — Qualitative Legal Audit: What We Do in a Typical Analysis of Fees

June 18, 2012 — We May Need a Lawyer for That - Typical Legal Needs for a Startup

June 8, 2012 — Date of Accrual of Interest on Attorney Fee Award Is Not Necessarily from the Date of the Original Judgment

June 6, 2012 — There Can Only Be One Prevailing Party Under Civil Code Section 1717

June 5, 2012 — Justices Weigh Arguments on Stacking in Toxic Tort Cases

June 4, 2012 — I Enjoyed Lunch with My Attorney Until I Received a Bill for It!

May 21, 2012 — Attorney Fees Properly Awarded Where the Applicable Contract Authorizes An Award "In Any Dispute"

May 8, 2012 — Attorney Fees are Properly Awarded Under Prison Litigation Reform Act

May 7, 2012 — Chairperson of Insurance Board Denied Claim for Attorney Fees

May 4, 2012 — Attorney, Not the Client, is Entitled to Retain Attorney Fees in Wage and Overtime Litigation

May 1, 2012 — For Better or For Worse, Court Finds Joint 998 Offer To Husband and Wife Sufficient Basis For Expert Witness Fees and Costs Award

April 26, 2012 — District Court Doesn't 'Like' Facebook In Fee Award Decision

April 18, 2012 — FEHA-Related Fee Claims Must Be Based on a Finding that the Claim is Actually Frivolous

April 17, 2012 — Court Invalidates Fee Award Premised on Financial Ramifications on Non-Prevailing Party

April 6, 2012 — Plaintiff Wins Expert Costs and Attorney Fees Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 998(D)

March 20, 2012 — Earliest Reasonable Offer Governs Cost Recovery Under Code of Civil Procedure Section 998

March 19, 2012 — Nonpayment of Arbitration Fees Dooms Arbitral Award

March 8, 2012 — Court is Entitled to Render Equitable Apportionment of Attorney Fees in Partition Action

February 28, 2012 — Counsel's Mistaken Decision Constituted Good Cause to Extend the Deadline for Filing of a Fee Petition

February 9, 2012 — Fee Award Rendered Against Prisoner for Maintaining Frivolous Litigation is Not Subject to Discharge Under the Federal Bankruptcy Code

January 31, 2012 — California Civil Code Section 1717 Provides for Mutuality of Remedy in Favor of a Third Party Beneficiary

January 18, 2012 — Party Who Pursues Litigation to Enforce CC&Rs Needs to "Get Ducks in a Row" Prior to Suing

January 17, 2012 — "Of Counsel" Title Does Not Automatically Bar Claim for Attorney Fees

January 12, 2012 — Finding of Implied Waiver of Fees Contained in Marital Settlement Agreement Trumps Fee Claims

December 13, 2011 — Legally Separate Cause of Action Supports a Fee Award Under Civil Code Section 1717

November 29, 2011 — A Sanctions Attorney Fee Motion Requires a Finding of Frivolous Conduct for Justification

November 28, 2011 — Sanction Award is Improper Even if Defense Counsel Admitted to Violation of the Court Order

November 21, 2011 — Cost Shifting is Proper Where Defendant's Section 998 Offer Was Reasonable as a Matter of Law

November 21, 2011 — An Employer is Eligible to Recover Costs Under Labor Code Section 1194

November 4, 2011 — Untimely SLAPP Motion Does Not Support a Fee Award

November 2, 2011 — Court Properly Awards Contingency Attorney Fees as Restitution

October 31, 2011 — Ninth Circuit Rules That Attorney Fees are Properly Awarded Under Petroleum Marketing Practices Act

September 29, 2011 — Attorney Properly Rejects Attorney Fee Arbitration Award by Filing a Small Claims Action

September 28, 2011 — Attorney/Spouse Exception Allows Civil Rights Plaintiff to Obtain Fees

September 26, 2011 — Ninth Circuit Finds Insufficient Basis for Large Attorney Fee Award

August 3, 2011 — Settlement Offer Referencing Costs Includes Attorney Fees

August 2, 2011 — Family Law Judge Properly Grants Substantial Sanctions Against Party Whose Misconduct Increased Litigation Costs

July 27, 2011 — Retainer Agreement Prohibiting Settlement Without Attorney Consent Violates Public Policy

July 26, 2011 — Pro Per Plaintiffs Who are Attorneys are Not Eligible for Fee Award

July 22, 2011 — Trial Court Abuses Its Discretion in Applying Negative Multiplier To Set Attorney Fees

July 11, 2011 — Minor Victories Do Not Support an Award of Fees Under California's Private Attorney General Doctrine

June 14, 2011 — Pro Se Attorney Litigants are Not Eligible for an Award of Attorney Fees

June 9, 2011 — Family Law Judge Has the Authority to Award "Just and Reasonable" Attorney Fees

June 2, 2011 — Attorney Fee Award is Reversed Where It is Rendered Without Proper Statutory Authorization

May 16, 2011 — Attorney Fee Award Overturned in Tobacco Litigation

May 13, 2011 — Court Ruling Taxing Appellate Costs is Subject to an Immediate Appeal

May 12, 2011 — Who is on the Hook for Costs in Paying Subpoenaed Peace Officers?

April 27, 2011 — Trial Court Improperly Grants an Award of Fees to Tenant Under Fair Housing Act

April 26, 2011 — Lower Court Properly Reinstates Arbitration Award Granting Fees

April 7, 2011 — 2860 Fee Arbitration is Denied Where Insurer is Not Currently Defending

March 28, 2011 — Private Attorney General Doctrine Authorizes Attorney Fees in a Political Dispute

March 24, 2011 — Costs for Translation Services are Properly Awarded to the Prevailing Party

March 23, 2011 — Fee Award is Overturned in Alleged Housing Discrimination Matter

March 18, 2011 — Claim Must be Frivolous to Support a Fee Award for Malicious Prosecution

February 10, 2011 — Breach of Fiduciary Duty by Spouse Results in Fee Award

February 9, 2011 — Breach of Fee Sharing Agreement Excuses Party from Contractual Obligations

February 2, 2011 — Court Has No Jurisdiction Over a Fee Claim Appeal When the Appellant Jumps the Gun

February 1, 2011 — Assignee May Pursue Claim for Indemnification for Unreimbursed Counsel Fees

January 31, 2011 — U. C. Regents Have Constitutional Immunity from Plaintiff's Attorney Fee Motion

December 21, 2010 — Failure To Satisfy Statutory Criteria Voids Contingency Fee Agreement

December 15, 2010 — Attorney Fee Award is Appropriate Based on Successful Forum Non Conveniens Motion

December 13, 2010 — Fee Award is Overturned Where Trial Court Failed to Consider the Question of Settlement Effort

December 10, 2010 — California Civil Code § 1717 is a Proper Basis for an Award of Attorney Fees Pursuant to a Performance Bond

November 4, 2010 — Anti-SLAPP Statute Does Not Authorize an Award of Attorney Fees Against Plaintiff's Counsel

November 3, 2010 — Party Must Be an Intended Beneficiary of the Contract to Invoke the Reciprocity Provision of Civil Code Section 1717

October 26, 2010 — Finding That an Anti-SLAPP Motion is Frivolous Justifies Fee Award

October 25, 2010 — Technical Construction of 'Actual Controversy' Requirement Under CCP § 1060 is Overturned in Dispute Over Fees

October 21, 2010 — Award of Attorney Fees is Improper Where Litigation Sought Renewal of Grazing Permits Rather than the Grant or Renewal of a License

October 20, 2010 — Disclosure of the Nature of Legal Practice and Representation is Required by Arbitrator in Fee Dispute Matter

September 30, 2010 — Fee Award Is Reversed Where Lower Court Failed To Consider Complexities Of Appellate Work

September 23, 2010 — Arbitrators Fee Award Based on Percentage of Property Value Conveyed in Settlement is Upheld

September 10, 2010 — Courts are Required to Award Attorney Fees to a Substantially Prevailing Party in Peer Review Lawsuits

September 3, 2010 — Injunctive Relief Related Fee Awards are Subject to Automatic Stay Pending Appeal

September 1, 2010 — Prevailing Defendant Entitled to Fee Award Unrelated To Claims Seeking Unpaid Wages

July 23, 2010 — In "Bet the Farm" Cases, Court Calls for Close Scrutiny of Reasonableness

July 22, 2010 — Action Against Landlord Under The Unfair Competition Statute Cannot Support Attorney Fee Award

July 20, 2010 — Award of Attorney Fees Under the Automobile Sale Finance Act Upheld by Court of Appeal

June 24, 2010 — Limitations on Attorney Fees Under Probate Code Section 17211

June 21, 2010 — Attorney Fees Awards Subject to Offset Litigants' Preexisting Debts to the U.S. Government

June 16, 2010 — Improper Involuntary Bankruptcy Petition Gives Rise to Award of Counsel Fees

June 16, 2010 — Fees Incurred for Monitoring Settlement Agreement Compliance are Recoverable Under 42 U.S.C. § 1988

June 16, 2010 — Unsatisfied Judgment Allows Prevailing Party to Recover Attorney Fees

May 26, 2010 — Non-Taxable Costs May Be Awarded Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

May 25, 2010 — Interest Incurred on Borrowed Funds to Secure an Undertaking is Not Recoverable

April 9, 2010 — Private Attorney General Fees are Only Available in an Action Against the Opposing Party

April 9, 2010 — Discretion to Deny Costs and Attorney Fees to FEHA Plaintiffs Rests with the Trial Courts

April 1, 2010 — Court Decides Novel Issue Concerning Priority of a Contractual Lien for Legal Services

February 19, 2010 — Attorneys Fee Provision in California Disabled Persons Act Is Not Preempted by the ADA

February 16, 2010 — Plaintiffs Fail To Satisfy the "Prevailing Party" Standard

February 5, 2010 — Municipal Ordinance Permits Attorney Fee Award Only In Limited Proceedings

January 29, 2010 — Ninth Circuit Overturns Attorney Fee Award Against the Government

January 19, 2010 — Public Entity is Entitled to Hire Private Law Firm in Tax Assessment Proceedings

December 14, 2009 — Improper Claim Brought by Trust Beneficiaries Can be Remedied Through an Attorney Fee Award Rendered Under the Equitable Power of the Probate Court

December 10, 2009 — Appellate Court Concludes that Cost Shifting is Calculated from the Date of the Last Urevoked Offer of Judgment

November 16, 2009 — Award of Attorney's Fees is Proper for Successful Anti-Slapp Motion in Addition to Fee Claims Related to Malicious Prosecution Action

November 11, 2009 — Is a Court Allowed to Enhance a Fee Award Based on the Quality of Performance of Counsel?

November 9, 2009 — Ninth Circuit Rejects Exclusive Use of Lodestar Approach in Calculating Fees in Denial of Disability Insurance Benefits Matters

October 30, 2009 — Trial Court Must Make Findings Establishing A Reasonable Basis For Fee Award

October 26, 2009 — Foreign Court Order Ruled Unenforceable: Court Nullifies Award of Attorneys Fees

September 29, 2009 — Trial Court Errs In Refusing to Award Litigation Costs but Not Fees to Adverse Party

September 15, 2009 — Liability Insurance Carrier Only Required to Pay A Pro Rata Share of Fees Incurred In The Subrogated Recovery Context, Not The Entire Amount Under The "Made Whole" Doctrine

September 8, 2009 — Plaintiff Denied Attorney Fees Even Where He Prevailed on Appeal

August 21, 2009 — "Clear Sailing" Agreement Is Approved By Court In Consolidated Consumer Class Action Case

July 14, 2009 — Plaintiffs are "Prevailing Parties" Under California Code Of Civil Procedure § 1021.5 Where the Action Enforces an Important Public Right

July 10, 2009 — Ninth Circuit Overrules "Prevailing Party" Decision

June 24, 2009 — "Citizens for Better Forestry" Denied Fees Where Ninth Circuit Concludes Environmental Organization Was Not The "Prevailing Party"

June 17, 2009 — Attorney's Fees Award Against Counsel is Reversed for Lack of Statutory Authorization

June 11, 2009 — Trial Court's Expansive Ruling on Recovery of Counsel Fees is Upheld on Appeal

June 8, 2009 — Judge Makes Decision on the Necessity and Reasonableness of Fees And Costs In Lead Paint Toy Claims

June 2, 2009 — Court Abuses Discretion by Denying Award of Counsel Fees

May 18, 2009 — Litigant Is Not Entitled To Attorney Fees Where Insurer Disputes Request For Medical Treatment

April 30, 2009 — Clarification Whether A Party Is Required To FileA Proposed Judgment Together With A Memorandum Of Costs In A Voluntary Dismissal Scenario

April 16, 2009 — Helpful Tips to Ensure Compliance With Billing Guidelines

April 8, 2009 — The Basics for Preparing a Petition Seeking Attorneys' Fees

March 17, 2009 — Fee Shifting Statutes Under California Law

March 6, 2009 — Qualitative Versus Quantitative Audits: Two Different Approaches

March 2, 2009 — Conference for the Council on Litigation Management on March 12th and 13th, 2009

March 2, 2009 — Winterrowd v. American General Annuity Insurance Company

February 17, 2009 — Christian Research Institute v Alnor

January 15, 2009 — New Case Law Regarding Right to Cumis Fee Arbitration