News & Analysis as of

Appellate Court Notes

SC19215 - Olszewski v. Jordan - In this case, the court reversed an earlier decision of the Appellate Court which had held that an equitable charging lien (as distinguished from a retaining lien equals the right to...more

Is the Attorney's Fees Clause Moot in an Illegal Contract? – Depends On Your Involvement, Explains First Appellate District Court

The Court of Appeal recently clarified when a party can recover attorney's fees under a real estate purchase contract that is ruled to be illegal. California courts have previously enforced attorney's fees provisions in a...more

Court Confirms Standard for Appellate Opinion Dispositions - “Do Not Hide Elephants in Mouseholes”

In Ducoing Management, Inc. v. Superior Court (filed 2/10/2015 after rehearing, No. G050457), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, held that a reversal of a nonsuit judgment "in all other respects" also served to...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Texas Supreme Court Authorizes Attorney Fees’ Awards in Home Equity Cases

On Friday, February 6, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court issued its decision in Case No. 13-0236, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Murphy, and held that the Texas Constitution’s prohibition against non-recourse home equity loans, see...more

Second Circuit Lays Out New Rules for Restitution

On February 6, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided an appeal, United States v. Cuti, which interpreted the restitution provisions of the Victims and Witnesses Protection Act (VWPA). The...more

Court rules percentage based award is reasonable under California law - ignores federal precedent

In Laffitte v. Robert Half International Inc., 2014 DJDAR 15575, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District decided an interesting attorney fee case arising from class action wage and hour litigation....more

Post award correction of attorney fees award by arbitrator is reversed

In Cooper v. Lavely Singer Professional Corp., 2014 DJDAR 13272, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District ruled that a post-hearing substantive “correction” of a “Final Award” of attorney fees awarded...more

Attorney fees claim becomes the tail that wags the litigation dog

In Ellis Law Group LLP v. Nevada City Sugar Loaf Properties LLC, 2014 DJDAR 13541, the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District decided a case implicating the doctrine that self-represented law firms may...more

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Increasing Involvement In Patent Law

In 1982, the U.S. congress formed a new specialised appeals court, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or “CAFC,” and transferred responsibility for patent appeals from the various regional courts of appeal to this...more

Low Octane Levels? Octane Fitness’ Impact in the Trademark and Trade Secret Realms

We have previously addressed the Supreme Court’s decision in Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., 12-1184, Slip Op. at 7 (2014), which relaxed the standard for awarding attorney’s fees under Section 285 of the...more

Prompt Notice Requirement: 11th Circuit Rules that a Policyholder’s Late Notice of a Claim Results in a Strong Presumption of...

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently explained that under Florida law a policyholder who fails to provide prompt notice of a claim faces an uphill battle defeating the resulting rebuttable presumption of prejudice...more

CA Court of Appeals Confirms that Insured Need Not Accept 2860 Rate Caps For Work Done After Tender, But Before Insurer Accepts...

A recent unpublished decision from California’s Second Appellate Division highlights one of the most common mistakes lawyers make when obtaining insurance coverage for the defense of a lawsuit: accepting the insurer’s...more

Orange County Sanctioned for Frivolous Appeal

In a scathing opinion issued on December 12, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal took Orange County and its attorney to task for its appeal of an order awarding attorneys fees in connection with the County’s violation of...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Another Settlement With Disproportionate Attorney Fees Compared to Class Member Benefits

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a class action settlement because class counsel would have received generous attorney fees for conferring only meager benefits to the class. Writing for the Court, just as he did...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Fees Must be Deducted From Health Care Settlements Before Applying Liens

In the final days of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed a petition for leave to appeal in McVey v. M.L.K. Enterprises, LLC. McVey, a case from the Fifth District, presents the following question: must...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014

Texas Appeals Court Upholds $8.7M Verdict for Policyholder Against Broker - Why it matters: An appeals court in Texas upheld an $8.7 million jury verdict against a broker that procured coverage with significant...more

Federal Circuit Addresses Plethora of Issues in Affirming $19.5 Million Damage Award

SSL Services, LLC v. Citrix - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in an opinion that broached issues of claim construction, non-infringement, willful infringement, invalidity, the legal implications of a...more

Is a Memorandum of Costs required in addition to a Fee Petition?

In Kaufman v. Diskeeper Corp., 2014 DJDAR 11468, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District decided an interesting case involving the interplay of a filed Memorandum of Costs and a related Petition to...more

Octane Fitness Changes the Landscape for Trademark Cases Too

Fair Wind Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster - Addressing for the first time the application of the Supreme Court decision in Octane Fitness to trademark cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a...more

NY Court of Appeals upholds $44 million contingency fee for 5 months work, concluding that to assess fairness would be “dangerous...

The New York State Court of Appeals has ruled that a contingency fee agreement that netted Graubard Miller $44 million for five months' work was valid and enforceable. According to the court, the law firm took substantial...more

Judge Posner Orders Sherlock Holmes Estate to Pay Attorneys’ Fees for “Form of Extortion”

Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. - In another scathing opinion against the Sherlock Holmes estate, Judge Richard A. Posner ordered the estate to pay attorneys’ fees for bringing “nonexistent copyright claims” as a...more

Refuse to Provide Electronically Stored Information in Response to a Subpoena? You Could Face Sanctions

The California Court of Appeal recently provided rare guidance regarding a third party’s obligations to produce electronically stored information (ESI) in response to a subpoena. In Vasquez v. California School of Culinary...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19119 - Iacurci v. Sax - SC19119 Dissent - Iacurci v. Sax - Plaintiff sued his accountant for negligence and was trying to get around the 3-year statute of limitations of 52-577. In opposition to the...more

Appellate Court Orders California Tax Agency to Pay Attorney Fees Based on Significant Public Benefit Obtained by Reed Smith

The California Court of Appeal held in a published decision Sept. 2 that Reed Smith secured a significant benefit for the public by bringing a case that resulted in the Court striking down portions of an unconstitutional and...more

Court of Appeals Rejects Mandatory Treble Damages Under Wage Payment and Collection Law

Last week, in the case of Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc., the Court of Appeals had another opportunity to reflect on the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) and specifically discuss the application of...more

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