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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/02/2020 at 16:52:58 (UTC).

DONALD L HARBERT ET AL VS FCA US LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 06/13/2016 DONALD L HARBERT filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against FCA US LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is TERESA A. BEAUDET. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3621

  • Filing Date:

    06/13/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

TERESA A. BEAUDET

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

HARBERT DONALD L

HARBERT VICKI L

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1-10

EXTREEME AUTOMOTIVE GROUP

FCA US LLC

DON-A-VEE CHRYSLER JEEP

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

O'CONNOR & MIKHOV LLP

SMITH AMY REBECCA

MIKHOV STEVE BORISLAV

Defendant Attorney

YASUZAWA BRIAN TAKEYA

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL AFTER SETTLEMENT)

12/3/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL AFTER SETTLEMENT)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF RICHARD WIRTZ IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO TAX COSTS

1/28/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF RICHARD WIRTZ IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO TAX COSTS

Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO TAX COSTS

1/28/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO TAX COSTS

Order - ORDER MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS FEES

6/23/2020: Order - ORDER MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS FEES

PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO.3 NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION IN LIMINE TO PROHIBIT REFERENCE TO ATTORNEY'S FEES

1/12/2018: PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO.3 NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION IN LIMINE TO PROHIBIT REFERENCE TO ATTORNEY'S FEES

INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (?IDC?) STATEMENT*

3/21/2018: INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (?IDC?) STATEMENT*

DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S NOTICE AND MOTION TO COMPEL TILE INSPECTION OF THE SUBJECT VEHICLE AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,286; DECLARATION OF BRIAN YASUZAWA

3/28/2018: DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S NOTICE AND MOTION TO COMPEL TILE INSPECTION OF THE SUBJECT VEHICLE AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,286; DECLARATION OF BRIAN YASUZAWA

DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO.7 TO PROHIBIT TESTIMONY OR EVIDENCE RELATING TO PLAINTIFFS' FINANCIAL CONDITION

4/9/2018: DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO.7 TO PROHIBIT TESTIMONY OR EVIDENCE RELATING TO PLAINTIFFS' FINANCIAL CONDITION

DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO.4 TO PROHIBIT TESTIMONY OR REFERENCE TO INCREASED COSTS OF VEHICLES

4/9/2018: DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO.4 TO PROHIBIT TESTIMONY OR REFERENCE TO INCREASED COSTS OF VEHICLES

JOINT [PROPOSED] CACI JURY INSTRUCTIONS

4/13/2018: JOINT [PROPOSED] CACI JURY INSTRUCTIONS

Proof of Service -

4/13/2018: Proof of Service -

ORDER RE: DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S MOTION TO COMPEL THE INSPECTION OF THE SUBJECT VEHICLE AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,286 AND TRIAL & FSC DATES

5/2/2018: ORDER RE: DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S MOTION TO COMPEL THE INSPECTION OF THE SUBJECT VEHICLE AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,286 AND TRIAL & FSC DATES

DEFENDANT FCA US LLCS' EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER COMPELLING THE VEHICLE INSPECTION; ETC.

6/20/2018: DEFENDANT FCA US LLCS' EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER COMPELLING THE VEHICLE INSPECTION; ETC.

Case Management Statement

10/15/2018: Case Management Statement

Declaration in Support of Ex Parte Application

2/28/2019: Declaration in Support of Ex Parte Application

Stipulation and Order - Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial

3/1/2019: Stipulation and Order - Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT -

10/12/2016: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT -

Minute Order -

7/20/2017: Minute Order -

175 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/21/2020
  • Hearing08/21/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal after Settlement

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  • 07/23/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Tax Costs - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 07/06/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Donald L Harbert (Plaintiff); Vicki L Harbert (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/23/2020
  • Docketat 3:30 PM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Dismissal after Settlement) - Held - Continued

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  • 06/23/2020
  • Docketat 3:30 PM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees - Held

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  • 06/23/2020
  • DocketOrder Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

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  • 06/23/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees; Order to Show Cause Re: ...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/23/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees; Order to Show Cause Re: ...) of 06/23/2020); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/23/2020
  • DocketOrder (Motion for Attorneys fees)

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  • 04/17/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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327 More Docket Entries
  • 07/14/2016
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by FCA US, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 07/14/2016
  • DocketDEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

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  • 07/11/2016
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/11/2016
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 06/27/2016
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Donald L Harbert (Plaintiff); Vicki L Harbert (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/27/2016
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 06/13/2016
  • DocketCOMPLAINT 1. BREACH. OF EXPRESS WARRANTY - VIOLATION OF SONG-BEVERLY ACT 2. BREACH OF IMPLIED WARRANTY - VIOLATION OF SONG-BEVERLY ACT; ETC.

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  • 06/13/2016
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 06/13/2016
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Donald L Harbert (Plaintiff); Vicki L Harbert (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/30/2015
  • DocketProof of Service

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC623621    Hearing Date: June 23, 2020    Dept: 50

 

 

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 50

donald l. harbert, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

fca us llc, et al.

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC 623621

Hearing Date:

June 23, 2020

Hearing Time:

3:30 p.m.

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES, COSTS, AND EXPENSES

Background

Plaintiffs Donald L. Harbert and Vicki L. Harbert (jointly, “Plaintiffs”) filed this action on June 13, 2016 against Defendants FCA US LLC (“FCA”) and Extreme Automotive Group dba Don-A-Vee Chrysler Jeep (jointly, “Defendants”) for violations of the Song-Beverly Act.

On May 1, 2019, FCA served an offer to compromise pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 998 in the amount of $145,000. (Mikhov Decl., ¶ 31, Ex. D.) The offer was accepted. (Mikhov Decl., ¶ 31.)

Plaintiffs now move for an award of attorney fees, costs, and expenses in the amount of $170,316.63.[1] Defendants oppose.

Evidentiary Objections

The Court rules on Plaintiffs’ evidentiary objections as follows:

Objection 1: sustained

Objection 2: sustained as to “as is required” and as to “During the JDC, the Court agreed with FAC US’s position regarding restrictions being imposed by Plaintiffs” and overruled as to the remainder

Objection 3: sustained

Objection 4: sustained

Objection 5: sustained

Objection 6: sustained

Discussion

Civil Code section 1794(d) provides: “If the buyer prevails in an action under this section, the buyer shall be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including attorney's fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the buyer in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action.”

“[T]he fee setting inquiry in California ordinarily begins with the ‘lodestar,’ i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate. … The reasonable hourly rate is that prevailing in the community for similar work. The lodestar figure may then be adjusted, based on consideration of factors specific to the case, in order to fix the fee at the fair market value for the legal services provided.” (PLCM Group, Inc. v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1095 (internal citations omitted)]; see Robertson v. Fleetwood Travel Trailers of California, Inc. (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 785, 818 [applying the lodestar method to determine attorneys’ fees in Song-Beverly action].)

The Hourly Rate of Counsel

Plaintiffs request a lodestar total of $87,577.50 for work performed by the Knight Law Group and Wirtz Law, PC. From April 2016 through the present, the Knight Law Group billed 84.4 hours for services rendered. (Mikhov Decl., ¶ 2, Ex. A.) From May 2017 through the present, Wirtz Law billed 153.90 hours for services rendered. (Wirtz Decl., ¶ 10, Ex. A.)

Plaintiffs request applicable hourly billing rates ranging from $200 to $550 for the Knight Law Group as follows: Steve Mikhov, $550/per hour, Amy Morse, $350/hour, Brian T. Shippen-Murray, $400/hour, $375/hour, Daniel Kalinowski, $250/hour, George Aguilar, $275/hour, Kristina Stephenson-Cheang, $375/hour, Michelle Lumasag, $200/hour. (Mikhov Decl., ¶¶ 36-42.) Plaintiffs request applicable hourly billing rates ranging from $200 to $650 for Wirtz Law as follows: Richard Wirtz, $650/hour, Amy R. Rotman, $450/hour, Erin K. Barns, $450/hour, Jessica R. Underwood, $400/hour, Rebecca Evans, $200/hour, Andrea Munoz, $200/hour. (Wirtz Decl., ¶¶ 3-9.) The Court finds that the hourly rates requested by counsel are reasonable and commensurate with rates charged at their levels.

Lodestar Multiplier

While the lodestar reflects the basic fee for comparable legal services in the community, it may be adjusted based on various factors, including “(1) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill displayed in presenting them; (2) the extent to which the nature of the litigation precluded other employment by the attorneys; (3) the contingent nature of the fee award” and (4) the success achieved. (Serrano v. Priest (1977) 20 Cal.3d 25, 49.)

However, the court must not consider extraordinary skill and the other Serrano factors to the extent these are already included within the lodestar. (Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1138-11399.) “[A] trial court should award a multiplier for exceptional representation only when the quality of representation far exceeds the quality of representation that would have been provided by an attorney of comparable skill and experience billing at the hourly rate used in the lodestar calculation. Otherwise, the fee award will result in unfair double counting and be unreasonable.” (Id. at p. 1139.)

Here, Plaintiffs argue that a 0.5 lodestar multiplier is appropriate primarily because this is a contingency case. However, none of the other factors support the application of a multiplier. There is no indication that this case was complex or presented challenging legal issues, particularly considering that Plaintiffs’ counsel specializes in these types of cases. There is no evidence that Plaintiffs’ counsel was precluded from taking other cases because of the nature of this case. Nor is the success achieved by Plaintiffs’ counsel exceptional. Finally, the Court does not find that Defendants did anything to unreasonably delay resolution of this case.

The Court also notes that the hourly rates requested by Plaintiffs’ counsel are reasonable because of counsel’s demonstrated skill and experience. Because the quality of representation and the degree of skill exercised by Plaintiffs’ counsel are already factored into the lodestar, it would be unreasonable to award an enhancement. (See Holguin v. Dish Network LLC (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 1310, 1333 [“Where, as here, the court determines that the lodestar itself constitutes a reasonable fee for the action at issue, no enhancement is warranted.”].) The Court notes that Defendants request that the Court impose a negative multiplier, but the Court does not find that a negative multiplier is warranted in light of the evidence of the reasonableness of the lodestar as discussed above and below.

Accordingly, the Court declines to apply any multiplier to the lodestar amount.

Reasonableness of the Requested Fees

“[T]he court's discretion in awarding attorney fees is … to be exercised so as to fully compensate counsel for the prevailing party for services reasonably provided to his or her client.” (Horsford v. Board of Trustees of California State University (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 359, 395 (Horsford).) The trial court may reduce the award where the fee request appears unreasonably inflated, such as where the attorneys’ efforts are unorganized or duplicative. (Serrano v. Unruh (1982) 32 Cal.3d 621, 635, fn. 21.) “[T]he verified time statements of the attorneys, as officers of the court, are entitled to credence in the absence of a clear indication the records are erroneous.” (Horsford, supra, at p. 396.)

Here, Plaintiffs’ counsel has attached billing statements to the instant motion detailing the nature of the work performed. (Mikhov Decl., ¶ 2, Ex. A; Wirtz Decl., ¶ 10, Ex. A.)

Defendants argue that counsel’s hourly rates are inflated. The Court, based on its own knowledge and experience, finds that the hourly fees are reasonable in the Los Angeles-area legal community. “The courts repeatedly have stated that the trial court is in the best position to value the services rendered by the attorneys in his or her courtroom, and this includes the determination of the hourly rate that will be used in the lodestar calculus.” (569 East County Boulevard LLC v. Backcountry Against the Dump, Inc. (2016) 6 Cal.App.5th 426, 436-437 [internal citations omitted].) “In making its calculation, the court may rely on its own knowledge and familiarity with the legal market, as well as the experience, skill, and reputation of the attorney requesting fees . . . .” (Id. at p. 437.)

Defendants next contend that Plaintiffs’ counsel’s fees are unreasonable and unwarranted based on the fact that two law firms and 11 attorneys worked on this case for approximately three years. Defendants argue that overstaffing contributed to duplication of work and excessive time for travel. For example, Defendants point to time entries by attorneys in Mr. Wirtz’s law firm related to travel time (from San Diego to Los Angeles) and time preparing the instant fee motion. The Court does not find that these entries evidence unreasonable or inefficient billing as a result of the staffing on the case. Defendants also contend that Plaintiffs’ counsel’s use of form documents or templates does not support the hours billed for certain tasks, and in particular, the instant fees motion. However, although the use of forms and templates help with efficiency, counsel is still expected to modify each document for each individual case, and time spent to ensure that each document is appropriately modified is reasonable. Therefore, absent any indication that the billing records are erroneous, the Court finds that the fees requested by Plaintiffs are reasonable.

Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiffs’ motion is granted.

Plaintiffs are entitled to recover $87,577.50 in attorney fees and $38,950.38 in costs from Defendants.

Plaintiffs are ordered to give notice of this Order.

DATED: June 23, 2020 ________________________________

Hon. Teresa A. Beaudet

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court


[1] This amount includes costs of $38,950.38. On February 10, 2020, the Court denied Defendants’ motion to tax or strike Plaintiffs’ costs.

Case Number: BC623621    Hearing Date: February 10, 2020    Dept: 50

 

 

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 50

donald l. harbert, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

fca us llc, et al.

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC 623621

Hearing Date:

February 10, 2020

Hearing Time:

8:30 a.m.

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES, COSTS, AND EXPENSES;

DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO TAX COSTS

Motion for Attorney Fees

The motion for attorney fees filed by Plaintiffs Donald L. Harbert and Vicki L. Harbert (jointly, “Plaintiffs”) is continued to ______________, at 8:30 a.m., in Department 50.

On January 22, 2020, the Court ordered Plaintiffs and Defendant FCA US LLC (“Defendant”) to provide courtesy copies of their papers in support and in opposition to the motion for attorney fees. Although the Court has since received Defendant’s courtesy copies, Plaintiff’s courtesy copies are still missing, including courtesy copies of the Declaration of Steve Mikhov (218 pages including multiple exhibits) and the Declaration of Richard M. Wirtz (87 pages including multiple exhibits).

Accordingly, the Court orders Plaintiffs to lodge tabbed courtesy copies of their motion for attorney fees and all supporting documents directly in Department 50 at least 5 court days prior to the date of the continued hearing.

Motion to Tax Costs

Evidentiary Objections

The Court rules on Plaintiffs’ evidentiary objections as follows:

Objection 1: overruled

Objection 2: sustained

Objection 3: sustained

Objection 4: overruled

Discussion

This Lemon Law action was filed on June 13, 2016. A Notice of Settlement was filed on May 20, 2019. Here, in their Memorandum of Costs filed December 20, 2019, Plaintiffs seek recovery of costs totaling $38,950.38. Defendant moves to strike two items of costs: (1) all costs incurred by Plaintiffs’ expert witness, Dr. Barbara Luna; and (2) some of the costs incurred by Plaintiffs’ expert witness, Anthony Micale.

Civil Code section 1794, subdivision (d) provides: “If the buyer prevails in an action under this section, the buyer shall be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including attorney’s fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the buyer in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action.”

“A ‘verified memorandum of costs is prima facie evidence of [the] propriety’ of the items listed on it, and the burden is on the party challenging these costs to demonstrate that they were not reasonable or necessary.” ((Adams v. Ford Motor Co. (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 1475, 1486-1487 [italics and brackets omitted].) “If the items appearing in a cost bill appear to be proper charges, the burden is on the party seeking to tax costs to show that they were not reasonable or necessary. On the other hand, if the items are properly objected to, they are put in issue and the burden of proof is on the party claiming them as costs.” ((Ladas v. California State Auto. Assn. (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 761, 774.) Costs otherwise allowable as a matter of right may be disallowed if the court determines they were not reasonably necessary, and the court has power to reduce the amount of any cost item to an amount that is reasonable. (See Perko’s Enterprises, Inc. v. RRNS Enterprises (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 238, 245 [finding that “the intent and effect of section 1033.5, subdivision (c)(2) is to authorize a trial court to disallow recovery of costs, including filing fees, when it determines the costs were incurred unnecessarily”].)

Defendant argues that Dr. Luna’s expert witness fees are not allowable because she was designated as an expert to testify regarding Plaintiffs’ fraudulent concealment claim. It is undisputed that a prevailing plaintiff in a Lemon Law action is entitled to recovery of expert witness fees under Civil Code section 1794, subdivision (d). ((Jensen v. BMW of North America, Inc. (1995) 35 Cal.App.4th 112, 138.) Nevertheless, Defendant contends that recovery for expert witness fees are limited to those relating to a plaintiff’s Song-Beverly Act causes of action, and because Dr. Luna did not provide any expert testimony related to Plaintiffs’ Song-Beverly Act causes of action, her fees are disallowed. Plaintiffs counter that Dr. Luna’s testimony was relevant to both the fraud claim and the Song-Beverly claim. Plaintiffs also contend that

Dr. Luna’s testimony was relevant for damages calculation purposes. According to Plaintiffs, costs need not be apportioned when incurred in representation for an issue common to both a cause of action for which costs are permitted and one for which they are not. ((See Akins v. Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. (2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 1127, 1133 [“When a cause of action for which attorney fees are provided by statute is joined with other causes of action for which attorney fees are not permitted, the prevailing party may recover only on the statutory cause of action. However, the joinder of causes of action should not dilute the right to attorney fees. Such fees need not be apportioned when incurred for representation of an issue common to both a cause of action for which fees are permitted and one for which they are not. All expenses incurred on the common issues qualify for an award.”].)

In Plaintiffs’ expert designation for Dr. Luna, Plaintiffs state that Dr. Luna is expected to testify “as to matters including, but not limited to, indicia of fraud, corporate business culture, customs and practices, industry standards of concealing or omitting material information, the materiality of such information, repeated intentional omissions, and corporate philosophy and risk management strategy.” (Yasuzawa Decl., ¶ 2, Ex. A, ¶ 3.) Plaintiffs further state that

Dr. Luna is expected to testify “as to the valuation of damages based on the financial impact of omissions, the quantification of culpability of the defendant, the quantification of the reprehensibility of Ford’s conduct including, but not limited to, the repeated wrongdoing, and profitability of the scheme.” (Yasuzawa Decl., ¶ 2, Ex. A, ¶ 4.) Dr. Luna’s declaration regarding her retention also sets forth that her testimony in this case relates to fraudulent conduct and to the calculation of damages. (Yasuzawa Decl., ¶ 3, Ex. B, ¶¶ 6-8, 66-77.) To the extent that Dr. Luna’s testimony regarding damages is related to the Song-Beverly Act claims, Defendant argues that it is unreasonable to retain an expert for that purpose. Defendant points to Plaintiffs’ proposed special verdict form which contains the specific calculations the jury would perform to determine damages under the Song-Beverly Act. (Yasuzawa Decl., ¶ 10, Ex. I, pp. 3-4.)

Plaintiffs argue that it is common practice for plaintiffs to utilize damages experts to present and explain damages calculations to the jury, and that an expert would have walked the jury through the calculations notwithstanding that the special verdict form provides those same calculations. Plaintiffs also argue that Dr. Luna’s testimony regarding fraud is relevant to determining whether Defendant “willfully” failed to buy back Plaintiffs’ vehicle, which is an element of the Song-Beverly Act claim for civil penalties. Therefore, because her testimony was relevant to both the fraud claim and the Song-Beverly Act claim, her fees cannot be apportioned. Based on the evidence and argument presented, and the case law, the Court finds that Dr. Luna’s fees are recoverable.

Next, as to Mr. Micale’s fees, Defendant argues that Mr. Micale’s costs are unreasonable and overstated. Defendant contends that Mr. Micale’s bills in this matter are exorbitant compared to other cases in which he has ben retained and testified at trial. Because Mr. Micale did not testify at trial in this case, Defendant concludes that Mr. Micale’s bills are inflated. But as noted by Plaintiffs (and acknowledged by Defendant), Mr. Micale attended to two sessions of deposition and appeared at two vehicle inspections. The Court does not find that Mr. Micale’s costs are unreasonable and therefore, they are recoverable.

Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, the Court denies Defendant’s motion to tax costs in its entirety.

Plaintiffs are ordered to give notice of this Order.

DATED: February 10, 2020 ________________________________

Hon. Teresa A. Beaudet

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court

Case Number: BC623621    Hearing Date: January 22, 2020    Dept: 50

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 50

donald l. harbert, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

fca us llc, et al.

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC 623621

Hearing Date:

January 22, 2020

Hearing Time:

8:30 a.m.

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES, COSTS, AND EXPENSES

The motion for attorneys’ fees filed by Plaintiffs Donald L. Harbert and Vicki L. Harbert (jointly, “Plaintiffs”) will be continued. Plaintiffs’ motion is supported by a memorandum of points and authorities, a Declaration of Steve Mikhov (218 pages including multiple exhibits), and a Declaration of Richard M. Wirtz (87 pages including multiple exhibits). The opposition brief by Defendant FCA US LLC (“Defendant”) is 163 pages, including multiple exhibits. Neither Plaintiffs nor Defendant provided courtesy copies of the moving papers or the opposition papers.

Pursuant to the November 5, 2018 General Order re Mandatory Electronic Filing for Civil, litigants are required to provide printed courtesy copies of filings of motions that include points and authorities and motions that are 26 pages or more. Additionally, as counsel for the parties are well aware, pursuant to the courtroom instructions for Department 50, all declarations and exhibits to motions must be tabbed. Motions may be rejected for failure to comply with this Court’s rules regarding tabbing. Because the Court did not receive printed and tabbed courtesy copies of the voluminous documents filed by both Plaintiffs and Defendant, the Court continues the hearing on Plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys’ fees to ______________, 2020, at 8:30 a.m., in Department 50. Plaintiffs and Defendant are ordered to lodge tabbed courtesy copies of their moving and opposing papers directly in Department 50 at least 5 court days prior to the date of the continued hearing.

Plaintiffs are ordered to give notice of this Order.

DATED: January 22, 2020 ________________________________

Hon. Teresa A. Beaudet

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court

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