This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/03/2019 at 02:02:13 (UTC).

MYLAUNNA LEE ET AL VS ALFRED LEE STRINGER ET AL

Case Summary

On 12/14/2016 MYLAUNNA LEE filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against ALFRED LEE STRINGER. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is MARK C. KIM. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0936

  • Filing Date:

    12/14/2016

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

MARK C. KIM

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

MYLAUNNA LEE

SHARLET MARIE LEE

LEE MYLAUNNA

LEE SHARLET MARIE

Defendants

ALFRED LEE STRINGER + DBA

REALISTIC CONSTRUCTION

DOES 1- 10 INC.

STRINGER ALFRED LEE DBA REALISTIC CONSTRUCTION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

ALBERT LON CHANEY III- ATTY

CHANEY ALBERT LON III

 

Court Documents

Notice of Entry of Judgment or Order

9/25/2018: Notice of Entry of Judgment or Order

Unknown

9/19/2018: Unknown

Unknown

9/19/2018: Unknown

Proof of Service by Mail

9/10/2018: Proof of Service by Mail

Notice of Motion

9/7/2018: Notice of Motion

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/28/2019
  • at 08:35 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 09/25/2018
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment or Order

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  • 09/25/2018
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 09/19/2018
  • Judgment; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 09/19/2018
  • Judgment

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  • 09/19/2018
  • Judgment

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  • 09/10/2018
  • Proof of Service by Mail

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  • 09/10/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 09/07/2018
  • Motion to Tax Costs; Filed by SHARLET MARIE LEE (Plaintiff); MYLAUNNA LEE (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/07/2018
  • Notice of Motion

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77 More Docket Entries
  • 05/03/2017
  • Notice; Filed by SHARLET MARIE LEE (Plaintiff); MYLAUNNA LEE (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/03/2017
  • Notice; Filed by SHARLET MARIE LEE (Plaintiff); MYLAUNNA LEE (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/03/2017
  • Notice; Filed by SHARLET MARIE LEE (Plaintiff); MYLAUNNA LEE (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/27/2017
  • Motion to Compel; Filed by SHARLET MARIE LEE (Plaintiff); MYLAUNNA LEE (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/27/2017
  • at 08:30 AM in Department S27; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 01/30/2017
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 01/26/2017
  • Answer; Filed by Alfred Lee Stringer (Defendant)

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  • 01/26/2017
  • Proof of Service by Mail; Filed by Alfred Lee Stringer (Defendant)

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  • 12/14/2016
  • Summons; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 12/14/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by SHARLET MARIE LEE (Plaintiff); MYLAUNNA LEE (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: NC060936    Hearing Date: October 06, 2020    Dept: S27

The Court has read the unopposed motion and now rules as follows.

This case was filed on December 14, 2016 and a judgment was entered on September 19, 2018 in favor of Plaintiffs for $116,211.25 after a court trial on July 26, 2018.

Plaintiffs timely filed a motion for attorney’s fees on September 7, 2018. Plaintiffs assert that they are entitled to attorney’s fees under Civil Code section 1717(a) based on an attorney’s fees and costs provision in the contract upon which this action was founded. (Chaney Decl., Exh. B.) The provision provides that the prevailing party in any legal proceeding related to the agreement is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, and Plaintiffs assert they are the prevailing parties.

“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(a).)

The statute does not contain a definition of prevailing party. Where a statute authorizing an award of attorney fees lacks any definition of “prevailing party,” the determination of which party, if either, prevailed is left to the discretion of the trial court. (Galan v. Wolfriver Holding Corp. (2000) 80 Cal.App.4th 1124, 1128.) The general definition of prevailing party is contained in Code of Civil Procedure section 1032:

“‘Prevailing party’ includes the party with a net monetary recovery, a defendant in whose favor a dismissal is entered, a defendant where neither plaintiff nor defendant obtains any relief, and a defendant as against those plaintiffs who do not recover any relief against that defendant. If any party recovers other than monetary relief and in situations other than as specified, the “prevailing party” shall be as determined by the court, and under those circumstances, the court, in its discretion, may allow costs or not and, if allowed, may apportion costs between the parties on the same or adverse sides pursuant to rules adopted under Section 1034.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 1032, subd. (a)(4).)

Here, Plaintiffs are the prevailing parties as they were awarded $116,211.25 and the contract which is the basis for the underlying case contains and attorney’s fees and costs provision. Thus, the Court agrees with Plaintiffs that they are entitled to attorney’s fees and costs based on the contract provision as the prevailing party. (Chaney Decl., Exh. B.)

Plaintiffs seek $44,975 in attorney’s fees and $1,122.60 in costs, for a total award of $46,097.60.

“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 several 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. (Ibid.)

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.) A reasonable hourly rate must reflect the skill and experience of the attorney. (Id. at 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; see also Weber v. Langholz (1995) 39 Cal.App.4th 1578, 1587 [“The trial court could make its own evaluation of the reasonable worth of the work done in light of the nature of the case, and of the credibility of counsel’s declaration unsubstantiated by time records and billing statements.”].)

Reasonable attorney fees should be based on an objective standard of reasonableness, i.e., the market value of services rendered, not on the notion of cost incurred. (PLCM Group, Inc. v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1090.) The value of legal services performed in a case is a matter in which the trial court has its own expertise. (Id. at 1096.) The trial court may make its own determination of the value of the services contrary to, or without the necessity for, expert testimony. (Ibid.) The trial court makes its determination after consideration of several factors, including the nature of the litigation, its difficulty, the amount involved, the skill required in its handling, the skill employed, the attention given, the success or failure, and other circumstances in the case. (Ibid.)

Here, Plaintiffs provide the declaration of counsel Albert Lon Chaney, III, who claims he charges $250 per hour, and spent 11.2 hours on communications in this case, 8.4 hours on preparing and reviewing the pleadings in this case, 12.7 hours preparing and propounding discovery, 61.7 hours related to motions, 1.2 hours for preparing notices, 15.5 hours preparing responses to discovery requests, 24.2 hours related to case management, 33 hours on court appearances, and 12 hours on pre-trial preparation. Plaintiffs also attach the billing statements from counsel as Exhibit C.

Plaintiffs also request $1,122.60 in a memorandum of costs relating to filing fees, service of process, certified mail, and parking fees.

The Court finds that the hourly rate and time spent is reasonable and was incurred for necessary litigation related tasks. Plaintiffs are also entitled to their costs and the Court finds the memorandum sufficient. Defendant has not opposed.

The motion is granted.

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