Prevailing Party

News & Analysis as of

Prevailing FEHA Defendant Not Entitled To Litigation Costs Unless Plaintiff’s Lawsuit Lacked Objective Basis

The California Supreme Court in Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire District affirmed the asymmetrical nature of litigation costs awards in discrimination lawsuits under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act...more

ERISA (3rd Circuit): Even a Voluntary Settlement Can Mean “Some Success on the Merits” When Awarding Attorney Fees?

You know that a court has discretion to award attorney fees under ERISA if a party shows “some degree of success on the merits.” But how do you define “success”? A new third circuit case reminds one of that old Milton...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - May 2015

EEOC Conciliation Efforts Subject To Limited Judicial Review - In Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, the United States Supreme Court held that the conciliation efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are...more

LLCs Not Subject To Texas Attorney Fee Statute ... For Now

In a matter of first impression, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently held that Section 38.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code — the statutory provision allowing a...more

Employers Who Prevail in FEHA Cases Cannot Recover Costs Unless the Employee’s Claims Are Frivolous, Unreasonable, or Groundless

In Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fires District, (No. S213100, en banc, filed 5/4/15) (Williams), the Supreme Court of California held a prevailing defendant in an action under the California Fair Employment and...more

Recover Flat Fees (or Not) As Prevailing Party in Patent Litigation

We have entered a new era where the prevailing party in a patent litigation has much better odds of recovering their attorney fees. “Until recently, winning hasn’t felt much like winning, particularly for defendants.” (Judge...more

Data Shows Spike In Patent Attorney Fee Motions And Awards After Octane

Prior to last year’s Supreme Court decisions in Octane Fitness LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc, 134 S. Ct. 1749 (2014) and Highmark, Inc. v. Allcare Health Mgmt. Sys., 134 S. Ct. 1744 (2014), district courts awarded...more

A “Solution” in Search of a Problem? The Innovation Act of 2015 and Trends in Fee-shifting in Patent Litigation

On February 5, 2015, Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced H.R. 9, entitled the “Innovation Act.” Among other things, the bill would direct courts to award attorneys’ fees and litigation-related expenses to prevailing...more

SLAPP’d in Orange County: Court of Appeal Confirms Right to Recover Post-Judgment Fees

California has an anti-SLAPP law that protects defendants from lawsuits brought to chill their First Amendment rights. The anti-SLAPP law, Code of Civil Procedure, section 425.16, provides “for the early dismissal of...more

Design Patent Case Digest: Robinson v. JoeyBra LLC

Decision Date: May 8, 2013 and June 3, 2014 Court: W.D. Virginia - Patent: D448,541 - Holding: Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration of order denying preliminary injunction - DENIED. Defendant’s motion for...more

A Judgment Cannot Not Lie Against Attorney Who is a Non Party

In Suarez v. City of Corona, 2014 DJDAR 12101, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided an interesting case concerning the interpretation of California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1038....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

Settlement Agreements: Forgetting Costs May Cost You in California

DeSaulles v. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, No. H038184 (May 2, 2014): A California Court of Appeal recently considered the issue of whether one of the parties in a litigation can be considered to be...more

Settlement Agreement Silent On "Costs" Leads To Prevailing Party Award

In deSaulles v. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, 2014 DJDAR 5571 (2014), the California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District decided that a prevailing party was entitled to costs, despite the fact...more

Should Employers Sue to Recover Attorney’s Fees After Winning a Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, the usual answer is no. After being sued by an employee for discrimination without a scintilla of evidence to support the claim, clients often ask “Can we countersue the employee for attorney’s fees?”...more

Fee Award to Prevailing Employer in Certain Actions Requires Employee Bad Faith

Existing law, with certain exceptions, requires a court in any action brought for the nonpayment of wages, fringe benefits, or health and welfare or pension fund contributions, to award reasonable attorneys' fees and costs to...more

’Tis the Season of Giving, Right?

We all think of December as the season of giving. Unfortunately, prevailing defendants in Title VII cases don’t always feel that way. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prevailing plaintiffs enjoy compensatory...more

Legislation Targeting Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs) Passes in House by Comfortable Margin

On Thursday, December 5, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the “Innovation Act” (H.R. 3309), a bill principally aimed at curtailing certain patent infringement litigation practices of non-practicing entities...more

California Employment Law Update: What’s New for 2014

The California Legislature was unusually active this year. Significantly, California increased the state minimum wage, created new “unfair immigration-related practices,” and expanded protections for whistleblowers. All laws...more

Section 128.7 Sanctions Not Available Following Arbitration

When a client has obtained a defense verdict, judgment or arbitration award, they will frequently ask what recourse they have to recover attorney’s fees and costs obtained in defending against the claims. In California,...more

United States Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Two Cases That Could Potentially Deter Non-Practicing Entities From Filing Frivolous...

On October 1, 2013, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the “exceptional” case standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in two separate patent-infringement cases. Both cases relate to patentees who are...more

California Further Restricts Employer Recovery of Prevailing Party Attorney’s Fees

California has amended Labor Code § 218.5 to limit the circumstances under which an employer may recover its attorney’s fees and costs as the prevailing party in a lawsuit in which an employee has sued for nonpayment of...more

District Court Awards Fees To ESA Defendant, Ordering Plaintiffs Jointly And Severally Liable

On March 29, 2013, after more than 11 years of litigation, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that a defendant, as the prevailing party, was entitled to attorneys' fees under the Endangered...more

Court Interprets Settlement Agreement to Allow For Fee Recovery

In Khavarian Enterprises Inc. v. Commline Inc.,2013 DJDAR 6107 (2013) the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District overruled the trial courts denial of a fee claim arising out of a settlement agreement....more

Prevailing Party Fees are Not Recoverable in Cases Arising Under Admiralty Jurisdiction

Insurers with marine risks in Florida should be wary of an evolving conflict among Florida’s lower appellate courts regarding the applicability of Florida’s Offer of Judgment Statute (ch. 768.79) to claims governed by...more

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