On 12/14/2016 3 G I CORPORATION filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against CHARLES I SHEEN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
3 G.I. CORPORATION
SHEEN CHARLES I
LAW OFFICES OF FARRIS AIN
BERNARD STEPHEN ESQ.
2/27/2018: Minute Order
2/27/2018: Minute Order
4/20/2018: PLAINTIFF, 3 G.I. CORP.'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION OF DEFENDANT, CHARLES I. SHEEN, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, AN ORDER SHORTENING TIME TO HEAR MOTION OR CONTINUE DISCOVERY CUT-OFF AND/OR
5/15/2018: PLAINTIFF 3 G. I CORP.'S MOTION IN LI MINE NO.2; MKMORANI)UM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
5/15/2018: PLAINTIFF 36.1 CORP.'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. I AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS FOR $14,000.00; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
5/15/2018: Minute Order
9/24/2018: ORDER ON DEFENDANT CHARLES I. SHEEN'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND RELATED DATES
9/24/2018: Minute Order
1/11/2019: Minute Order
4/9/2019: Substitution of Attorney
12/14/2016: COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETC
12/20/2016: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
3/16/2017: REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT
4/13/2017: Minute Order
6/19/2017: Minute Order
8/10/2017: CIVIL DEPOSIT
at 09:30 AM in Department 78; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by CourtRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 78; Final Status Conference - Held - ContinuedRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Final Status Conference)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Substitution of Attorney; Filed by 3 G.I. Corporation (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Stephen Bernard, Esq. (Attorney)Read MoreRead Less
Jury Instructions; Filed by 3 G.I. Corporation (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Witness List; Filed by 3 G.I. Corporation (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Statement of the Case; Filed by 3 G.I. Corporation (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Exhibit List; Filed by 3 G.I. Corporation (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
at 09:30 AM in Department 78; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Court's MotionRead MoreRead Less
Minute order entered: 2017-04-13 00:00:00; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Minute OrderRead MoreRead Less
PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULTRead MoreRead Less
Default Entered; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETCRead MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by 3 G.I. Corporation (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC643943 Hearing Date: September 16, 2020 Dept: 78
3 G.I. Corporation;
CHARLES I. SHEEN, et al.;
September 16, 2020
[TENTATIVE] RULING RE:
DEFENDANT CHARLES I. SHEEN’S Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs.
Defendant Charles I. Sheen’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees is GRANTED in the amount of $119,690.00.
This is an action for breach of contract. The Complaint alleges as follows. On September 4, 2014, Plaintiff 3 G.I. Corporation (“3GI”) and Defendant Charles I. Sheen (“Sheen”) entered into a contract for 3GI to provide Sheen security services from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015. (Compl. ¶ 10.) Under the contract, Sheen agreed to not hire any of 3GI’s employees during the contract year plus 360 days after termination or else pay $50,000 per employee in liquidated damages. (Compl. ¶ 10.) On December 15, 2014, Sheen terminated the contract without cause and immediately hired 3 of 3GI’s employees. (Compl. ¶ 11.)
3GI filed the Complaint on December 14, 2016, alleging eight causes of action:
Breach of contract
Breach of implied in fact contract
Fraudulent inducement of contract
On July 5, 2017, Sheen filed an Answer.
On October 22, 2019 – October 24, 2019, a court trial took place.
On December 13, 2019, the Court ordered judgment to be entered in favor of Sheen.
On February 4, 2020, judgment was entered in favor of Sheen with Sheen’s attorneys’ fees to be determined separately.
On April 3, 2020, Sheen filed the present Motion for Attorneys’ Fees.
On April 16, 2020, the Court denied 3GI’s Motion to Vacate the Judgement or, in the alternative, for a New Trial.
On April 16, 2020, the Court entered a Final Statement of Decision.
On July 20, 2020, 3GI filed an Opposition.
On July 24, 2020, Sheen filed a Reply.
MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES
Parties to litigation must generally bear their own attorney’s fees, unless they otherwise agree. (Code Civ. Proc. § 1021.) Civil Code section 1717 states: “(a) In any action on a contract, where the contract specifically provides that attorney's fees and costs, which are incurred to enforce that contract, shall be awarded either to one of the parties or to the prevailing party, then the party who is determined to be the party prevailing on the contract, whether he or she is the party specified in the contract or not, shall be entitled to reasonable attorney's fees in addition to other costs.” (Civ. Code, § 1717.)
“It is well established that the determination of what constitutes reasonable attorney fees is committed to the discretion of the trial court, whose decision cannot be reversed in the absence of an abuse of discretion.” (Melnyk v. Robledo (1976) 64 Cal.App.3d 618, 623.) In exercising its discretion, the court should consider a number of factors, including the nature of the litigation, its difficulty, the amount involved, the skill required in handling the matter, the attention given, the success or failure, and the resulting judgment. (See id.)
Here, Sheen asks for attorneys’ fees of $119,690. (Motion at p. 4.) This is after the Court entered judgment in favor of Sheen. Sheen bases his request for attorneys’ fees on the “Non-Disclosure Agreement” (the “Agreement”) that was signed August 30, 2014, which the Court found to be the only valid contract in the action. (Bernard Decl. ¶ 2, Exh. A; Statement of Decision.) Section 5.4 of the Agreement provides for attorneys’ fees in an action to enforce or interpret the Agreement. (Bernard Decl., Exh. A.)
3GI argues that Sheen may not use the Agreement for attorneys’ fees because the action was based on another contract, an agreement called the “Gelbman Agreement” in the Statement of Decision. (Oppo. at pp. 1-2.) However, the Court’s decision in this case was entirely based on the Agreement, and the Court found that the Agreement is the only valid agreement in the action. (Statement of Decision at p. 7.) The Court’s decision enforced the Agreement over the void and unenforceable Gelbman Agreement alleged in the Complaint, and found that the Agreement was the controlling Agreement over the issues alleged in the Complaint. Accordingly, the Agreement is valid for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure section 1717’s “action on a contract” requirement for attorneys’ fees.
In determining the proper amount of fees to award, courts use the lodestar method. The lodestar figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of reasonable hours expended by the reasonable hourly rate. “Fundamental to its determination . . . [is] a careful compilation of the time spent and reasonable hourly compensation of each attorney . . . in the presentation of the case.” (Serrano v. Priest (1977) 20 Cal.3d 25, 48 (Serrano III).) A reasonable hourly rate must reflect the skill and experience of the attorney. (Id. at p. 49.) “Prevailing parties are compensated for hours reasonably spent on fee-related issues. A fee request that appears unreasonably inflated is a special circumstance permitting the trial court to reduce the award or deny one altogether.” (Serrano v. Unruh (1982) 32 Cal.3d 621, 635 (Serrano IV).) The Court in Serrano IV also stated that fees associated with preparing the motion to recover attorneys’ fees are recoverable. (See id. at p. 624.)
3GI does not challenge any other aspect of the Motion for Attorneys’ Fees. The Court finds that Sheen’s request for attorneys’ fees is reasonable with respect to hourly rate and necessity. The Court declines to award a multiplier because Sheen does not request one nor make an argument for why one should be applied.
Accordingly, the Motion for Attorneys’ Fees is GRANTED in the amount of $119,690.00.
DATED: September 16, 2020
Hon. Robert S. Draper
Judge of the Superior Court