Lower Court Properly Reinstates Arbitration Award Granting Fees

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In Lee v. Kwong, 2011 DJDAR 4599 (2011), a panel from the California Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s decision to reinstate an arbitrator’s decision, granting a fee award.

Audrie Lee (“Lee”) entered into an agreement for the purchase of a restaurant business with David and Alice Kwong (“Kwong”). The agreement included an arbitration clause as well as an attorney fee provision. That provision provided for an award of fees in favor of a prevailing party in any dispute arising from the agreement.

The parties agreed to judicial arbitration when the dispute arose. The sale of the business failed to close in a timely manner. The arbitrator denied Lee’s claims and awarded attorney fees to the Kwongs. Lee requested a trial de novo, but later filed a request for dismissal, which the clerk promptly entered as requested.

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