On 06/18/2014 EHAB ATALLA filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against ARTASHES AMBARTSUMYAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are TERESA SANCHEZ-GORDON, MARK V. MOONEY and STEPHANIE M. BOWICK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
MARK V. MOONEY
STEPHANIE M. BOWICK
DOES 1 TO 10
DOES 1 TO 10
ESENSTEN ROBERT L. ESQ.
RUTAN & TUCKER LLP
PAPAZIAN ARMEN F. ESQ.
4/9/2015: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY
5/12/2015: CROSS-COMPLAINANT'S OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO CROSS-COMPLAINT
5/27/2015: Minute Order
8/20/2015: FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF PROMISSORY NOTE; ETC.
9/24/2015: ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
2/5/2016: SEPARATE STATEMENT RE MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM DEFENDANT/CROSS- COMPLAINANT ARTASHES AMBARTSUMYAN'S RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE
2/5/2016: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS FROM DEFENDANT/CROSS-COMPLAINANT ARTASHES AMBARTSUMYAN AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,210.00; ETC.
5/3/2016: NOTICE OF RULING
9/7/2016: JOINT EXHIBIT LIST FOR TRIAL
9/16/2016: Minute Order
10/24/2016: STIPULATION AND ORDER TO USE CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTER
12/20/2016: Minute Order
2/10/2017: PLAINTIFFS' OBJECTIONS TO TENTATIVE STATEMENT OF DECISION
4/28/2017: NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING RE PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO THE TENTATIVE STATEMENT OF DECISION
8/28/2017: BRIEF RE OBJECTIONS TO THE [PROPOSED] JUDGMENT ON DECISION OF COURT
11/7/2017: NOTICE OF COURT RULINGS RE HEARING ON PLAINTIFFS' OBJECTIONS TO PROPOSED JUDGMENT
12/13/2017: REPLY RE MOTION FOR AWARD OF ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS AGAINST DEFENDANT/CROSS-COMPLAINANT ARTASHES AMBARTSUMVAN; ETC.
Notice of Ruling Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
Order (MOTION RULING ) Filed by CourtRead MoreRead Less
Reply/Response (RE MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES ) Filed by Atty for Plaintiff and Cross-DeftRead MoreRead Less
Ex-Parte Application (DEFT'S EXP APP TO CONT TRIAL DATE, OR IN THE ALT, AN ORDER SHORTENING TIME ON A HRG FOR THE SAME ) Filed by Atty for Defendant and Cross-ComplRead MoreRead Less
Miscellaneous-Other (SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER ) Filed by Atty for Defendant and Cross-ComplRead MoreRead Less
Notice (OF TAKING MOTION OF CALENDAR ) Filed by Atty for Plaintiff and Cross-DeftRead MoreRead Less
Notice (OF TAKING MOTION OFF CALENDAR ) Filed by Atty for Plaintiff and Cross-DeftRead MoreRead Less
Opposition Document (TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROATORIES ) Filed by Atty for Defendant and Cross-ComplRead MoreRead Less
Motion to Compel (TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES ) Filed by Atty for Plaintiff and Cross-DeftRead MoreRead Less
Miscellaneous-Other (SEPARATE STATEMENT RE MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES ) Filed by Atty for Plaintiff and Cross-DeftRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Reassignment and Order Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Statement-Case Management Filed by Attorney for Pltf/PetnrRead MoreRead Less
Statement-Case Management Filed by Attorney for Deft/RespntRead MoreRead Less
Demurrer Filed by Atty for Plaintiff and Cross-DeftRead MoreRead Less
Notice (OF CMC ) Filed by Atty for Plaintiff and Cross-DeftRead MoreRead Less
Proof-Service/Summons Filed by Attorney for Pltf/PetnrRead MoreRead Less
Cross-complaint Filed by Atty for Deft and Cross-ComplntRead MoreRead Less
Answer to Complaint Filed by Attorney for Deft/RespntRead MoreRead Less
Notice-Case Management Conference Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
ComplaintRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC548936 Hearing Date: January 12, 2021 Dept: 19
After consideration of the briefing filed , Defendant and Cross-Complainant Artashes Ambartsumyan’s unopposed Motion for Attorney’ Fees is GRANTED. The Court awards a total amount of $21,235.00 in reasonable attorney's fees. The Court reduces the amount requested since no Opposition brief was filed and no time was required to draft a Reply.
Order signed this date.
Counsel for Defendant to give notice.
This case arose out of breach of contract. Plaintiffs Ehab Atalla and Atef Hanna, individually and as Trustees of the Hanna Family Trust, brought suit against Defendant/Cross-Complainant Artashes Ambartsumyan (“Defendant”) alleging a claim for breach of promissory note and seeking damages, recovery of collateral, and attorney’s fees pursuant to Defendant’s alleged failure to repay a debt under a promissory note and written guaranty. After a three-day bench trial, the Court ruled against Plaintiffs on all contested issues and awarded attorneys’ fees to Defendant. Plaintiffs appealed the trial court's decision, and the Court of Appeal affirmed.
The Remittitur of the Court of Appeal decision was filed on 10/06/2020.
On 10/29/2020, Defendant filed the instant Motion for Attorneys’ Fees (“Motion”).
Pursuant to Civil Code section 1717, Code of Civil Procedure sections 998, 1032, 1033.5, and California Rules of Court, rule 8.278, Defendant requests attorneys’ fees in the amount of $22,075 on the grounds that Defendant was the prevailing party in the action and on appeal.
I. ENTITLEMENT TO ATTORNEY’S FEES
“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.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 1717.) A party who prevails in the Court of Appeal in a civil case other than a juvenile case is entitled to costs on appeal. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.278 (a).)
Here, Defendant prevailed at trial on his breach of written promissory note. The promissory note provided that:
(f) In the event a legal action is commenced in order to enforce any of the terms of this Agreement or breach or interpretation thereof, the prevailing party shall be entitled to an award of all costs and expenses thereof, including an award for reasonable attorney’s fees.
(Papazian Decl., Ex. 2.)
Defendant was also the prevailing party on appeal. Thus, Defendant is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred on appeal.
The Court finds the motion timely.
II. REASONABLE COSTS AND FEES CALCULATION
A trial court assessing attorney fees begins with a touchstone or lodestar figure, based on the ‘careful compilation of the time spent and reasonable hourly compensation of each attorney ... involved in the presentation of the case.” (Christian Research Institute, supra at 1321.) The Court “need not simply award the sum requested. To the contrary, ascertaining the fee amount is left to the trial court's sound discretion.” (Ibid.) “The reasonableness of attorney fees is within the discretion of the trial court, to be determined from a consideration of such factors as the nature of the litigation, the complexity of the issues, the experience and expertise of counsel and the amount of time involved. The court may also consider whether the amount requested is based upon unnecessary or duplicative work.” (Wilkerson v. Sullivan (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 443, 448; PLCM Group, Inc. v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084). “The basis for the trial court's calculation must be the actual hours counsel has devoted to the case, less those that result from inefficient or duplicative use of time.” (Horsford v. Board Of Trustees Of California State University (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 359, 395.) “The law is clear, however, that an award of attorney fees may be based on counsel's declarations, without production of detailed time records.” (Raining Data Corp. v. Barrenechea (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 1363, 1375.)
In setting the hourly rate for an attorney fees award, courts are entitled to consider the rate of “fees customarily charged by that attorney and others in the community for similar work.” (Bihun v. AT&T Information Systems, Inc. (1993) 13 Cal. App. 4th 976, 997 [affirming rate of $450 per hour], overruled on other grounds by Lakin v. Watkins Associated Indus. (1993) 6 Cal. 4th 644, 664; see also Heritage Pacific Financial, LLC v. Monroy (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 972, 1009 [“[R]ate determinations in other cases, particularly those setting a rate for the plaintiffs' attorney, are satisfactory evidence of the prevailing market rate.”].)
Here, after consideration of the briefing filed and the Declaration of Armen F. Papazian, the Court finds counsel's hourly rate of $250.00 is very reasonable considering
the prevailing market rates in the community for similar work performed by attorneys of comparable skill, experience, background, reputation, years of experience as a licensed attorney, and professional services rendered. (See Papazian Decl., ¶¶ 4, 7.) Additionally, the Court considers the hours billed by Defendants’ counsel and finds them reasonable, and not excessive or duplicative. Defendant’s counsel attests that he incurred $20,235 in attorney's fees litigating the appeal of the judgment in this matter and an additional 3 hours drafting this Motion. Since no opposition was filed, the Court awards 4 hours for this motion, which includes the hearing on this matter and time required to provide notice. (Serrano v. Unruh (1982) 21 Cal.3d 621). Therefore, Court awards an additional $1,000.00 in fees, for a total of $21,235. (Id. at ¶ 9.) Plaintiffs submit no opposition, and in effect, consents to the relief requested and the reasonableness of the fees sought. (See Cal. Rules Ct., Rule 8.54(c) [“A failure to oppose a motion may be deemed a consent to the granting of the motion.”].)
For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendant’s request for reasonable attorney’s fees in the amount of $21,235.
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