On 05/22/2015 AMERICAN CONTRACTORS INDEMNITY COMPANY filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against DANNY G BRYANT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is MALCOLM MACKEY. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.
Disposed - Judgment Entered
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
AMERICAN CONTRACTORS INDEMNITY COMPANY
BRYANT DANNY G.
DOES 1 THROUGH 75
LANAK & HANNA P.C.
OSIAS HOWARD L.
SANDERS RENEE ESTELLE ESQ.
7/17/2015: REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT
9/10/2015: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
9/22/2015: Minute Order
12/29/2015: NOTICE ON HEARING ABOUT COURT FEES
2/4/2016: CLERK'S NOTICE OF VOIDING OF FILING
2/10/2016: CIVIL DEPOSIT
7/29/2016: SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED FACTS IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF?S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, ETC.
7/29/2016: NOTICE OF LODGING IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR ETC.
10/4/2016: OPPOSITION AND RESPONSE TO NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION AGAINST DANNY G. BRYANT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
3/1/2017: JOINT EXHIBIT LIST
3/2/2017: DEFENDANT EXHIBIT LIST
3/6/2017: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION IN LIMINE
3/9/2017: OPPOSITION TO MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE IRRELEVANT EVIDENCE AT TRIAL
4/21/2017: STIPULATION AND ORDER TO USE CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTER
6/6/2017: NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT/ DISMISSAL/OTHER ORDER
7/7/2017: NOTICE OF APPEAL
7/7/2017: Proof of Service
7/11/2017: NOTICE OF FILING OF NOTICE OF APPEAL (UNLIMITED JURISDICTION)
NOTICE OF FEES DUE FOR CLERK'S TRANSCRIPT ON APPEAL (CIVIL)Read MoreRead Less
Ntc to Reptr/Mon to Prep Transcrpt; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Filed by CreditorRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE TO REPORTER TO PREPARE TRANSCRIPT ON APPEALRead MoreRead Less
Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Filed by CreditorRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF DEFAULT (UNLIMITED CIVIL APPEALS)Read MoreRead Less
Notice; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Designation of Record; Filed by Danny G. Bryant (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
APPELLANT'S NOTICE DESIGNATING RECORD ON APPEAL (UNLIMITED CIVIL CASE)Read MoreRead Less
CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENTRead MoreRead Less
REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULTRead MoreRead Less
Default Entered; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by American Contractors Indemnity Company (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETCRead MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by American Contractors Indemnity Company (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC582814 Hearing Date: November 22, 2019 Dept: 32
american contractors indemnity company,
DANNY G. BRYANT, et al.
Case No.: BC582814
Hearing Date: November 22, 2019
[TENTATIVE] order RE:
MOTION for attorney fees and costs on appeal
Plaintiff American Contractors Indemnity Company (“ACIC”) commenced this collection action against Defendant Danny G. Bryant (“Bryant”) on May 22, 2015. The Complaint asserts causes of action for breach of contract and common counts. According to the Complaint, the parties executed several Fiduciary Bond Application and Indemnity Agreements pursuant to which ACIC agreed to issue Bryant three bonds and Bryant agreed to hold ACIC harmless for any and all losses that ACIC suffered in connection with the bond. ACIC allegedly suffered damages on these bonds in the amount of $34,512.75, excluding interest, attorney fees, and costs, and Bryant has refused to indemnify ACIC for these losses.
On April 20, 21, and 24, 2017, the parties participated in a bench trial. On April 25, 2017, the Court issued a tentative decision in favor of ACIC, finding that Bryant had signed the indemnity agreements and that ACIC was entitled to indemnification for retaining counsel to defend its bond interests in the underlying probate proceedings. On May 16, 2017, the Court adopted its tentative decision as its ruling. On June 6, 2017, the Court awarded ACIC a total judgment of $52,370.59 consisting of principal of $34,512.75 and prejudgment interest of $17,857.84. The judgment notes that ACIC is also entitled to recover attorney fees and costs in bringing this action against Bryant.
On July 7, 2017, Bryant filed an appeal. On May 14, 2019, the appellate court issued a decision affirming the Court’s judgment. The appellate court ordered Bryant to pay ACIC’s costs on appeal.
A. Costs on Appeal
In general, a party prevailing in the Court of Appeal in a civil case is entitled to costs on appeal. (CRC Rule 8.278(a)(1).) The prevailing party is the respondent if the Court of Appeal affirms the judgment without modification or dismisses the appeal. (CRC Rule 8.278(a)(2).)
A party may recover only certain enumerated costs including (1) filing fees; (2) the amount the party paid for any portion of the record, (3) the cost to produce additional evidence on appeal, (4) the costs to notarize, serve, mail, and file the record, briefs, and other papers, and (5) the cost to print and reproduce any brief, including any petition for rehearing or review, answer, or reply. (CRC Rule 8.278(d)(1).)
B. Attorney Fees on Appeal
Civil Code section 1717 governs attorney fees awards authorized by contract and incurred in litigating claims sounding in contract. (Douglas E. Barnhart, Inc. v. CMC Fabricators, Inc. (2012) 211 Cal.App.4th 230, 237.) Under that statute, when a contract provides for an award of fees “incurred to enforce that contract,” “the party prevailing on the contract ... shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees.” (Civ. Code § 1717(a).) This include attorney fees incurred “at trial or on appeal.” (Starpoint Properties, LLC v. Namvar (2011) 201 Cal.App.4th 1101, 1111; Harbour Landing-Dolfann, Ltd. v. Anderson (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 260, 263.)
In determining a reasonable amount of attorney fees, the trial court begins with the lodestar, i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate. (Warren v. Kia Motors America, Inc. (2018) 30 Cal.App.5th 24, 36.) The lodestar may then be adjusted based on factors specific to the case in order to fix the fee at the fair market value of the legal services provided. (Ibid.) These factors include (1) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, (2) the skill displayed in presenting them, (3) the extent to which the nature of the litigation precluded other employment by the attorneys, and (4) the contingent nature of the fee award. (Ibid.)
ACIC moves for an award of attorney fees incurred on appeal in the total amount of $20,555 and for an award of costs incurred on appeal in the total amount of $954.78. ACIC’s unopposed motion is well-taken.
A. Attorney Fees on Appeal
ACIC is entitled to attorney fees pursuant to the parties’ contract. Specifically, ACIC brought an action “on a contract” and that contract provides for reimbursement of attorney fees under these circumstances: “The undersigned … agree[s] to indemnity and keep indemnified the Company from and against any liability and all costs, charges, suits, damages, counsel fees and expenses of whatever kind or nature which said Company shall at any time sustain or incur, for or by reason, or in consequence of said Company having become surety or entering into such bond….”
ACIC has submitted verified time records that substantiate the fees sought. (Stevenson Decl. Ex. 3.) Those records reflect reasonable hourly rates (ranging between $190 and $310) and a reasonable number of hours.
ACIC’s request for attorney fees of $20,255 is GRANTED.
B. Costs on Appeal
ACIC is the prevailing party for purposes of costs on appeal because the appellate court affirmed the Court’s judgment. ACIC has filed a verified memorandum of costs that is “prima facie evidence that the costs listed in the memorandum were necessarily incurred.” (Bach v. County of Butte (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 294, 308.)
ACIC’s request for costs of $954.78 is GRANTED.
ACIC’s motion for attorney fees and costs on appeal is GRANTED in full.