On 03/15/2017 JOSEPH CHI CHUN SU filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against JAMES JOSEPH SHEAHAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is ROBERT L. HESS. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
ROBERT L. HESS
SU JOSEPH CHI-CHUN
SAHU CATHERINE T.
PANTON MARY SHEAHAN
DOES 1 TO 20
SHEAHAN JAMES JOSEPH
DOES 1 THROUGH 20
BEYKE JANET [INDIVIDUAL]
PANTON MARY SHEAHAN [TRUSTEE]
BEYKE JANET [TRUSTEE]
PANTON MARY SHEAHAN [INDIVIDUAL]
PANTON MARY SHEAHAN CO-TRUSTEE
BEYKE JANET CO-TRUSTEE
SCHORR ZACHARY ESQ.
SCHORR LAW APC
SHERRON ALVIN B. ESQ.
DEB BRYN CARLY
HANCOCK SCOTT ALAN
3/2/2018: STIPULATION AND ORDER RE: CONTINUANCE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
3/6/2018: Minute Order
6/15/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY
6/15/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY
6/21/2018: NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND OF ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE
10/24/2018: Minute Order
11/20/2018: Notice of Ruling
1/22/2019: Minute Order
4/10/2019: Status Report
4/28/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS
4/28/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS
6/2/2017: PLAINTIFF JOSEPH CHI-CHUN SU'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS; ETC.
6/19/2017: DEFENDANT MARY SHEAHAN PANTON'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF JOSEPH CHI-CHUN SU'S MOTION TO QUASH HER SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS; ETC
6/26/2017: PLAINTIFF JOSEPH CHICHUN SU'S REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS
6/27/2017: Minute Order
at 09:30 AM in Department 24; Final Status Conference - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Final Status Conference)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 24; Post-Mediation Status Conference - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Post-Mediation Status Conference)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Status Report; Filed by Bryn Carly Deb (Attorney)Read MoreRead Less
Declaration (Declaration of Bryn C. Deb, Esq.); Filed by Bryn Carly Deb (Attorney)Read MoreRead Less
at 10:00 AM in Department 24; Non-Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
at 09:30 AM in Department 24; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 24; Order to Show Cause Re: (Sanctions for parties failure to file report) - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Sanctions for parties failure to file...)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
PLAINTIFF JOSEPH CHI-CHUN SU'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER SEALING CITIBANK, N.A.'S SUBPOENAED DOCUMENT PRODUCTION; ETCRead MoreRead Less
Proof of Service by 1st Class MailRead MoreRead Less
Minute OrderRead MoreRead Less
Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by James Joseph Sheahan (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Ex-Parte Application; Filed by Joseph Chi-Chun Su (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Minute order entered: 2017-04-14 00:00:00; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Summons; Filed by Joseph Chi-Chun Su (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
[COMPLAINT FOR: (1) BREACH OF CONTRACT;Read MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Joseph Chi-Chun Su (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC654156 Hearing Date: October 14, 2020 Dept: 24
Plaintiff Joseph Chi-Chun Su’s motion for attorney's fees is GRANTED.
On March 15, 2017, Plaintiff Joseph Chi-Chun Su filed the instant action against Defendants James Sheahan, Catherine Sahu, Mary Sheahan Panton, Janet Beyke, and Mary Sheahan Panton and Janet Beyke as Trustee of the U/A Jeanie Hellen Beuvais Revocable Trust dated 04/17/2009 (“TTEE”). The instant suit relates to dispute over an escrow deposition pursuant to a residential purchase agreement Plaintiff entered into with Defendants. The agreement required Plaintiff to deposit $20,100.00 in escrow. Plaintiff was unable to secure the loan, so he cancelled the contract and escrow. Defendants held Plaintiff’s deposit in escrow despite the cancellation.
On July 3, 2019, the parties filed a stipulated settlement.
On September 16, 2020, Plaintiff filed a motion for attorney's fees. No opposition was filed.
With respect to attorney fees and costs, unless they are specifically provided for by statute (e.g., CCP §§ 1032, et seq.), the measure and mode of compensation of attorneys and counselors at law is left to the agreement, express or implied, of the parties. (CCP § 1021.) The prevailing party on a contract, which specifically provides for attorney fees and costs incurred to enforce the agreement, is entitled to reasonable attorney fees in addition to other costs. (Civ. Code § 1717(a); CCP §§ 1032, 1033.5(a)(10)(A).) The court, upon notice and motion by a party, shall determine the prevailing party and shall fix, as an element of the costs of suit, the reasonable attorney fees. (Civ. Code § 1717(a), (b).) Any notice of motion to claim attorney fees as an element of costs under shall be served and filed before or at the same time the memorandum of costs is served and filed; if only attorney fees are claimed as costs, the notice of motion shall be served and filed within the time specified in CRC 3.1700 for filing a memorandum of costs. (CRC 3.1702; Gunlock Corp. v. Walk on Water, Inc. (1993) 15 Cal.App.4th 1301, 1303, fn. 1.)
“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. [Citation.]” (Melnyk v. Robledo (1976) 64 Cal.App.3d 618, 623 624.) The fee setting inquiry in California ordinarily “begins with the ‘lodestar’ [method], i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate.” (Graciano v. Robinson Ford Sales, Inc. (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 140, 154.) “[A] computation of time spent on a case and the reasonable value of that time is fundamental to a determination of an appropriate attorneys’ fee award.” (Margolin v. Reg’l Planning Comm’n (1982) 134 Cal.App.3d 999, 1004.) 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. (See Serrano v. Priest (1977) 20 Cal.3d 25, 49 [discussing factors relevant to proper attorneys’ fees award].) Such an approach anchors the trial court’s analysis to an objective determination of the value of the attorney’s services, ensuring that the amount awarded is not arbitrary. (Id. at 48, fn. 23.) The factors considered in determining the modification of the lodestar 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, (4) the contingent nature of the fee award.” (Mountjoy v. Bank of Am. (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 266, 271.)
In challenging attorney fees as excessive because too many hours of work are claimed, it is the burden of the challenging party to point to the specific items challenged, with a sufficient argument and citations to the evidence. (Premier Medical Management Systems, Inc. v. California Ins. Guaranty Assoc. (2008) 163 Cal.App.4th 550, 564.) General arguments that fees claimed are excessive, duplicative, or unrelated do not suffice. (Ibid.)
There is no dispute that Plaintiff is the prevailing party. The parties entered into a settlement declaring Su the prevailing party and his entitlement to attorneys fees as costs. Section 2 of the settlement agreement provides:
2. Mr. Su shall be considered the "prevailing party" in the Action and shall file and serve a "Cost Bill" —-consistent with Code of Civil Procedure Section 1033.5. "Cost Bill" as used herein, means the costs and attorney's fees Buyer contends he incurred as a direct result of the events and circumstances giving rise to the Action underlying this Stipulation, including costs and attorney's fees incurred through judgment and/or dismissal of the Action, and wherefore, necessarily includes the events and circumstances giving rise to the same civil action. The parties shall participate in private meditation in an effort to settle the previously defined term "Cost Bill" and in the event of no resolution, the Cost Bill and all evidence Seller contends supports the Cost Bill, shall be presented to the court for final and binding determination of the amount Sellers owe Buyer. Any ultimate dismissal of this matter shall not constitute entry of a ruling in favor of the Sellers as defendants or otherwise cause the Sellers to be considered the "prevailing party"
Counsel declares that they sent a cost bill to Defendants’ counsel on July 29, 2019. (Deb Decl., ¶ 6.) Counsel sent several follow up messages to discuss potential mediation regarding costs, but no responses were received. (See Id., ¶¶ 7-11.) The Court therefore finds that Plaintiff is entitled to fees.
Plaintiff submits evidence verifying the various hours billed by multiple attorneys handling the suit. Counsel indicates $50,756.91 in fees, ranging from $187.00 to $450.00 per hour. (Deb Decl., ¶¶ 13-15.) 170.10 hours were billed, as indicated by the attached, verified records. (Id., ¶¶ 17-18.) Plaintiff therefore meets his burden to demonstrate and verify his bills. Defendant failed to oppose and therefore make any specific challenges to the reasonableness of the fees incurred.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion is GRANTED.
Moving party is ordered to give notice.
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