On 11/13/2017 DWAYNE K CHIKAHIRO filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against FORD MOTOR COMPANY. 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
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
CHIKAHIRO DWAYNE K.
DOES 1 TO 10
FORD MOTOR COMPANY
MIKHOV STEVEN B. ESQ.
MORTENSON MICHAEL D.
2/16/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY
4/20/2018: DECLARATION OF AMY MORSE IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION FROM FORD MOTOR COMPANY, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS
4/20/2018: MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION FROM FORD MOTOR COMPANY, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS
4/20/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION FROM DEFENDANT FORD MOTOR COMPANY, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS (CCP SECTION 2031.310)
4/20/2018: Proof of Service
4/20/2018: PLAINTIFF'S SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER DISCOVERY RESPONSES AND COMPLIANCE FROM DEFENDANT FORD MOTOR COMPANY, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS
5/16/2018: FORD MOTOR COMPANY'S RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFF'S SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER DISCOVERY RESPONSES AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS
5/16/2018: DECLARATION OF ANDREW GAHAN IN SUPPORT OF FORD MOTOR COMPANY'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF?S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS
5/22/2018: PLAINTIFF'S REPLY TO DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER DISCOVERY RESPONSES FROM DEFENDANT AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS - REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS
5/30/2018: RULING RE: PLAINTIFF DWAYNE K. CHIKAHIRO'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS.
5/30/2018: Minute Order
6/27/2018: NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS
4/19/2019: Minute Order
1/3/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
11/13/2017: COMPLAINT 1.. VIOLATION OF SONG-BEVERLY ACT - BREACH OF EXPRESS WARRANTY ;ETC
at 09:00 AM in Department 61; Jury Trial - Not Held - Vacated by CourtRead MoreRead Less
at 09:00 AM in Department 61; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Vacated by CourtRead MoreRead Less
at 09:00 AM in Department 61; Post-Mediation Status Conference - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Post-Mediation Status Conference)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Notice (of Post Mediation Status Conference); Filed by Dwayne K. Chikahiro (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
at 09:00 AM in Department 61; Post-Mediation Status ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESSRead MoreRead Less
at 09:01 AM in Department 61; Hearing on Motion to Compel ((Motion Denied)) -Read MoreRead Less
ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORERead MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
DEFENDANT FORD MOTOR COMPANY'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINTRead MoreRead Less
Answer; Filed by Ford Motor Company (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
Proof-Service/SummonsRead MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT 1.. VIOLATION OF SONG-BEVERLY ACT - BREACH OF EXPRESS WARRANTY ;ETCRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Dwayne K. Chikahiro (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC683428 Hearing Date: November 06, 2019 Dept: 61
Dwayne K. Chikahiro’s Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs is GRANTED in the amount of $24,865.44.
MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES
Chikahero seeks $40,193.05 in attorney’s fees, costs and expenses, representing a lodestar fee amount of $24,730.00, an added 0.5 multiplier of $12,365.00, and costs and expenses in the amount of $3,098.05. (Motion at p. 2.) This is after Ford accepted Chikahiro’s offer of compromise in the amount of $42,521.82. (Opposition at p. 4.)
Parties to litigation must generally bear their own attorney’s fees, unless they otherwise agree. (Code Civ. Proc. § 1021.) However, the Song-Beverly Act provides for the award of attorneys’ fees to prevailing plaintiffs as follows:
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.
(Civ. Code § 1794, subd. (d).)
“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.)
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.)
Ford opposes the present motion for fees on the following bases. First, Ford argues that the fees sought for the present motion are excessive, amounting to $4,830.00 for 14.6 hours, or 17% of the total bill. (Opposition at p. 6.) Ford also argues that no multiplier should be added, and that a negative multiplier should be applied because of the simple nature of the case and the lack of relative risk involved. (Opposition at pp. 7–10.)
The court agrees with Ford that the amount claimed in connection with Chikahiro’s present motion — by the court’s count 14.3 hours (Mikhov Decl. Exh. A at p. 6) — is excessive in relation to the simplicity of the motion’s subject matter and the known practice of Chikahiro’s counsel to use form templates for motions of this type. The court therefore reduces the amount awarded for this work from $5,105.00 for 14.3 hours of attorney work (at an average rate of $356.99 per hour) to $2,141.94, representing six hours of work at the same average rate: a reduction in the lodestar amount of of $2,963.06.
The court also agrees with Ford that, given the relatively structured nature of this case, a multiplier is not warranted here. “Once the court has fixed the lodestar, it may increase or decrease that amount by applying a positive or negative ‘multiplier’ to take into account a variety of other factors, including the quality of the representation, the novelty and complexity of the issues, the results obtained, and the contingent risk presented.” (Thayer v. Wells Fargo Bank., N.A. (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 819, 833.) The present action was neither particularly novel nor complex, as demonstrated by the billings submitted with the motion. This factor conclusively balances out the contingent nature of the recovery of Chikahiro’s counsel in this matter, which is adequately compensated by the ordinary lodestar amount. The court declines to award a downward lodestar multiplier according to Ford’s argument.
The court therefore takes the lodestar submitted by Chikahiro — $24,730.00 — and reduces it by $2,963.06, leaving a total fee lodestar of $21,766.94. The court awards Chikahiro costs in the amount of $3,098.05.
Chikahiro’s Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs is GRANTED in the amount of $24,865.44.