News & Analysis as of

Attorney's Fees Breach of Contract

Court Compels Discovery, Awards Sanctions In Dispute Over Whether Reinsurance Arbitration Clause Applies

by Carlton Fields on

In 2011, Top’s Personnel entered into a reinsurance agreement with Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company (“AUCRA”), and several years later executed a promissory note (“the Note”) in favor of a related entity,...more

Enforcing Public Contracts against a Surety

This summer, the Washington Supreme Court ended a long dispute within the construction industry and issued an opinion finding that a performance bond is, in essence, an insurance contract. The court made clear that a public...more

Oral Contract Upheld in California Despite Offer Letter Purporting to Supersede It

Does an employment offer letter that expressly supersedes any oral statements on the part of supervisors concerning conditions of employment preclude verbal wage promises made after the employee is hired? Chen v. M&C Hotel...more

Sharply-Divided Washington Supreme Court Holds That Sureties, Like Insurers, Must Pay Attorney Fees to Prevailing Parties When...

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

King Cnty. v. Vinci Constr. Grands Projets/Parsons RCI/ Frontier-Kemper, JV, No. 92744-8, 2017 Wash. LEXIS 743 (July 6, 2017) - King County contracted with three construction firms (collectively, “VPFK”) to construct a...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Squeezed at the Pump

by Lewitt Hackman on

Most dealership and franchise agreements require the franchisor's prior written consent to the transfer of a business from one franchisee to another. The new franchisee is often required to sign the franchisor's then-current...more

Arizona Supreme Court Confirms a Prevailing Homeowner Can Recover Fees on Implied Warranty Claims

by Snell & Wilmer on

On August 9th, in Sirrah Enterprises, L.L.C. v. Wunderlich, the Arizona Supreme Court settled the question about recovery of attorneys’ fees after prevailing on implied warranty claims against a residential contractor. The...more

Attorney’s Fees As Damages For Breach Of Contract? A Jury Must Decide

by Weintraub Tobin on

Often times, contracts contain attorney’s fee provisions. These terms allow the prevailing party in any action to enforce the contract to recover its attorney’s fees. Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1717,...more

What's a Coverage Defense? 11th Circuit Addresses Coverage Defenses under the Florida Claims Administration Statute

by Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell on

When coverage is at issue, the interplay between a policy’s language and an insurer’s duties under the Claims Administration Statute, Florida Statute Section 627.426, becomes a key factor in claims handling for insurers. In...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2017

In response to three questions asked of it by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court opined as follows...more

Finding No “Therapeutic” Benefit to Corporation, Court Denies Fee Award in Discontinued Shareholder Derivative Action

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

At first glance, you might think the plaintiff minority shareholder in Sardis v Sardis, 2017 NY Slip Op 27163 [Sup Ct Suffolk County May 11, 2017], achieved her derivative lawsuit’s goal when the defendant controlling...more

California Supreme Court Adds To Line Of Cases Narrowly Applying The Right To Recover Attorneys’ Fees Under Civil Code Section...

by Weintraub Tobin on

Despite increasing sophistication amongst contracting parties and evermore common use of attorney fee clauses, the “American Rule” endures. The American Rule is that each side pays its own attorney fees in litigation, win or...more

Word Games Aside … an agreement to settle is an agreement to settle

by Butler Snow LLP on

The Tennessee Court of Appeals refused to let a litigant weasel out of a negotiated and binding agreement to settle disputed claims. Tim Grace v. Jeanna Grace d/b/a Grace Trucking, Case No. W2016-00650-COA-Re-CV (11/29/16)....more

Eleventh Circuit Finds No Coverage for Contempt Proceedings under Lloyd's Professional Liability Insurance Policy

by Goulston & Storrs PC on

In Jones, Foster, Johnston & Stubbs, P.A. v. Prosight-Syndicate 1110 at Lloyd’s, United States No. 15-12399, 2017 WL 586450 (11th Cir., February 14, 2017) the insured law firm sought to recover legal fees and costs incurred...more

District Court Does Not Have Unlimited Discretion in Assessing Reasonable Attorneys’ Fees

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing attorneys’ fees in the context of a breach of contract claim, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reversed the district court’s limited award of attorneys’ fees, finding the award inconsistent with the...more

Nice Attorneys Sometimes Finish Last

by Wilson Elser on

Attorneys are accustomed to being called “ambulance chasers” or “sharks,” always interested in increasing their fees. Even if a lawyer reduces a bill for an unhappy client, that conduct may backfire if the client isn’t...more

Court Confirms Arbitration Award, Rejecting Claim That Arbitrator Exceeded His Powers And Ignored The Law

by Carlton Fields on

A court has confirmed an arbitration award of more than $8 million in damages, attorneys’ fees and costs against Sirona Dental Systems, Inc. and Arges Imaging Inc. (collectively “Respondents”) in favor of Petitioners, who...more

Business Litigation Alert: "Will Texas Change the Recovery of Attorneys' Fees in 2017?"

by Porter Hedges LLP on

The general rule in Texas is that litigants must pay their own attorneys’ fees. Texas only allows the recovery of attorneys’ fees where it is authorized by statute, called for in the contract between the parties, or – in rare...more

Recovery of Contractual Attorneys’ Fees for Tort and Contract Claims - Dismissing Contract Action May Mean Attorney’s Fee...

by Low, Ball & Lynch on

Dismissing Contract Action May Mean Attorney’s Fee Liability. Neeshat S. Khan v. Michael Shim - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (December 29, 2016) - Civil Code § 1717(b)(2) generally bars the award...more

Voluntary Dismissal of Contract Claims Leads to Involuntary Payment of Attorneys’ Fees

by Selman Breitman LLP on

Recently, in Khan v. Shim, No. H041608 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 29, 2016) (“Khan”), the California Court of Appeal held where a plaintiff voluntarily dismisses an action involving contract and tort claims, Civil Code section 1717,...more

Appellate Court Notes

by Pullman & Comley, LLC on

AC37979 - Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman - Nursing home sued son/guarantor of patient and obtained a judgment for $45,000. The guarantee agreement allowed the nursing home to seek attorney fees. The son appealed...more

Superior Court Limits Contractual Indemnification To Third Party Claims

by Morris James LLP on

This decision holds that a general obligation to indemnify another party to a contract applies only to claims filed by a third party and not to claims between the parties to the contract itself. Hence, if you want to cover...more

Florida Supreme Court Rules Incorrect Denial of Insurance Benefits Can Trigger Award of Attorneys’ Fees to Insured

by Wilson Elser on

On September 29, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court held, in Johnson v. Omega Insurance Company (No. SC14-2124), that a homeowner is entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees after an improper denial of insurance benefits. The...more

Court Holds Indemnity Provision Provides No Right To Attorney Fees

by Allen Matkins on

Contractual indemnity provisions often broadly provide for the payment of the indemnified party’s attorney fees. In Alki v. Superior Court, 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 892 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016), for example, a fund administration...more

In the Tenth Circuit, Colorado’s On-Going Debate over the “Fairly Debatable” Defense

by Cozen O'Connor on

A recent Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, The Home Loan Investment Co. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 827 F.3d 1256 (10th Cir. 2016), demonstrates that, although multiple jurisdictions may recognize similar defenses...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending September 2 & 9, 2016

by Carlton Fields on

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE: Foreclosure/Standing: where copy of note attached to foreclosure complaint contained no endorsement and original note presented at trial had endorsement in favor of plaintiff, plaintiff required to...more

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