This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/13/2019 at 02:08:30 (UTC).

SMILING TREE INC VS 3800 WEST SIXTH STREET LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 02/23/2018 SMILING TREE INC filed an Other - Injunction lawsuit against 3800 WEST SIXTH STREET 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 ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5008

  • Filing Date:

    02/23/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Injunction

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE

 

Party Details

Petitioners and Plaintiffs

SMILING TREE INC

SMILING TREE INC.

Respondents and Defendants

WILSHIRE CENTER MANAGEMENT INC

DOES 1 TO 30

3800 WEST 6TH STREETLLC

LEE LEO

A-JU REALTY INC.

CHOI SUN Y.

CHUNG YUN SAM (DOE 41)

REE JUNG HWA

WILSHIRE SMILING TREE PRESCHOOL CORP.

REE BYUNG N.

WILSHIRE CENTER MANAGEMENT INC.

CHUNG YUN SAM

3800 WEST SIXTH STREET LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff Attorneys

BARKIN STEVEN J. ESQ.

BLUM EDWARD

BARKIN STEVEN J.

Respondent and Defendant Attorneys

KIM STEVEN C. ESQ.

FABRIZI LARRY ESQ.

CHA JOHN S

FABRIZI LARRY

 

Court Documents

Minute Order

4/26/2018: Minute Order

NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

5/7/2018: NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

NOTICE DETEERMINATION THAT CASE NO.BC695008 AND CASE NO BC696298 ARE RELATED

5/7/2018: NOTICE DETEERMINATION THAT CASE NO.BC695008 AND CASE NO BC696298 ARE RELATED

Minute Order

5/22/2018: Minute Order

PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

6/14/2018: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

DECLARATION OF STEVEN C. KIM IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

6/20/2018: DECLARATION OF STEVEN C. KIM IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

6/20/2018: REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 405 ET SEQ.

6/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 405 ET SEQ.

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 405 ET SEQ.

6/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 405 ET SEQ.

RULING

6/28/2018: RULING

PLAINTIFF'S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS' REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

6/28/2018: PLAINTIFF'S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS' REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

Minute Order

6/28/2018: Minute Order

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

7/10/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

7/10/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

7/16/2018: ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

7/26/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

Minute Order

7/27/2018: Minute Order

REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL

7/27/2018: REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL

50 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/20/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Status Conference (Re Arbitration) - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 06/11/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Status Conference (Re Arbitration) - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 04/10/2019
  • Stipulation and Order (stipulation to arbitrate); Filed by Smiling Tree, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/04/2019
  • Answer; Filed by Byung N. Ree (Defendant); Jung Hwa Ree (Defendant)

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  • 03/04/2019
  • Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/09/2019
  • Notice (Of Case Management Conference); Filed by 3800 West Sixth Street, LLC (Defendant); Leo Lee (Defendant); Wilshire Center Management, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 01/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Status Conference (Re Arbitration) - Held - Continued

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  • 01/07/2019
  • Minute Order ((Status Conference Re Arbitration)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/17/2018
  • Notice (of association of counsel); Filed by Smiling Tree, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/10/2018
  • Notice of Ruling (on plffs exparte app for a temporary restraining order); Filed by 3800 West Sixth Street, LLC (Defendant); Leo Lee (Defendant); Wilshire Center Management, Inc. (Defendant)

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89 More Docket Entries
  • 03/09/2018
  • NOTICE OF ERRRTA

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  • 03/09/2018
  • Notice; Filed by Smiling Tree, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/06/2018
  • FIRST AMENDED SUMMONS

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  • 03/06/2018
  • Summons; Filed by Smiling Tree, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/06/2018
  • First amended Complaint 1. Breach of Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment 2. Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Relations 3. Negligent Interference with Prospective Economic Relations 4. Breach of Contract 5. Breach of Covenant of Good Faith etc.; Filed by Smiling Tree, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/06/2018
  • First Amended Complaint; Filed by Smiling Tree, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/06/2018
  • FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT 1. BREACH OF COVENANT OF QUIET ENJOYMENT

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  • 02/23/2018
  • COMPLAINT 1. BREACH OF COVENANT OF QUIET ENLOYNTENT

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  • 02/23/2018
  • SUMMONS

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  • 02/23/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Smiling Tree, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC695008    Hearing Date: December 09, 2020    Dept: 48

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES

On April 10, 2019, Byung No Ree and Jung Hwa Ree (“Defendants”) and Smiling Tree, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) stipulated to arbitrate Plaintiff’s claims in the seventh and eighth causes of action. On February 23, 2018, Defendants filed a petition for an order confirming the July 6, 2020 arbitrator’s award against Plaintiff and Eun Chu Lee (the sole shareholder of Plaintiff). The arbitrator granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants and awarded attorney fees and costs to Defendants. On October 21, 2020, the Court granted Defendants’ petition to confirm the arbitrator’s award. The Court entered judgment on November 4, 2020.

On October 22, 2020, Defendants filed this motion for attorney fees and memorandum of costs. Plaintiff did not file an opposition or motion to tax costs.

As the prevailing parties in an arbitration action, Defendants are entitled to an award of costs. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1293.2.) The parties’ contract states, “In an action, proceeding, or arbitration between Buyer and Seller arising out of this Agreement, the prevailing Buyer or Seller shall be entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs from the non-prevailing Buyer or Seller,” except as specifically provided. (Chan Decl., Ex. C at ¶ 31.) Therefore, Defendants are also entitled to attorney fees. (Civ. Code, § 1717, subd. (a).)

California courts apply the “lodestar” approach to determine what fees are reasonable. (See, e.g., Holguin v. DISH Network LLC (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 1310, 1332.) This inquiry “begins with the ‘lodestar,’ i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate.” (PLCM Group v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1095.) From there, 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.” (Ibid.) Relevant factors 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, [and] (4) the contingent nature of the fee award.” (Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1132.) The party seeking fees has the burden of documenting the appropriate hours expended and hourly rates. (City of Colton v. Singletary (2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 751, 784.)

Defendants’ counsel states that their reasonable hourly rates are $625 for John S. Cha (“Cha”) before January 2020, $650 for Cha beginning in January 2020, $395 for Tammy Wu (“Wu”) before January 2020, and $425 for Wu beginning in January 2020. The Court finds the stated rates are reasonable based on counsel’s qualifications, skills, and experience.

The arbitrator heard a motion for attorney fees on July 2, 2020. (Petition to Confirm Award, Attachment 8c at p. 18.) Following that hearing, the arbitrator awarded Defendants $105,685.00 in attorney fees. (Id. at p. 23.) Defendants state that additional hours spent regarding that fee motion were not part of the record at the time of the arbitrator’s hearing. (Cha Decl. ¶ 6.) Defendants now request $37,130.00 in fees for 50.6 hours spent in connection with this action since June 17, 2020. (Cha Decl., Ex. A.)

The Court finds that the requested hours are reasonable. The Court declines to award fees for Wu’s anticipated 6 hours analyzing an opposition to this motion and preparing a reply and Wu’s anticipated 1 hour preparing an opposition to a motion to tax costs, as Plaintiff did not file an opposition or a motion to tax costs. The Court reduces the award by $2,975.00 (7 hours at $425).

Defendants are therefore entitled to $34,155.00 in attorney fees ($37,130.00 minus $2,975.00).

Accordingly, the motion for attorney fees is GRANTED IN PART. The Court awards Defendants $34,155.00 in attorney fees. In addition, Defendants are entitled to $554.00 in costs.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT48@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit. Parties intending to appear are STRONGLY encouraged to appear remotely.

Case Number: BC695008    Hearing Date: October 21, 2020    Dept: 48

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE MOTION TO COMFIRM ARBITRATION AWARD

On April 10, 2019, Byung No Ree and Jung Hwa Ree (“Defendants”) and Smiling Tree, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) entered a stipulation to arbitrate Plaintiff’s claims against Defendants contained in the seventh and eighth causes of action. On February 23, 2018, Defendants filed a petition for an order confirming the July 6, 2020 arbitrator’s award against Plaintiff and Eun Chu Lee (the sole shareholder of Plaintiff). The arbitrator granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants and awarded attorney fees costs to Defendants.

“Any party to an arbitration in which an award has been made may petition the court to confirm, correct or vacate the award.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 1285.) The petition must set forth (1) the substance of or have attached a copy of the agreement to arbitrate, (2) the names of the arbitrators, and (3) the award and the written opinion of the arbitrators or attach a copy. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1285.4.) The petition here complies with section 1285.4.

In opposition, Plaintiff argues the arbitrator did not have the authority to consider and decide the motion for summary judgment or decide the motion for attorney fees. The parties’ stipulation stated the arbitrator “shall have jurisdiction and authority to adjudicate all matters at issue between the parties, including discovery disputes.” This statement of the arbitrator’s authority is broad enough on include a summary judgment motion and a motion for attorney fees. In addition, California law allows an arbitrator to consider and decide summary judgment motions. (Schlessinger v. Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 1096, 1103.)

Accordingly, the petition for order confirming arbitrator’s award as judgment is GRANTED. Defendants are to submit a proposed judgment confirming the award against Plaintiff and Eun Chu Lee within the next ten days.

The Court DENIES the request for an award of the attorney fees incurred with the petition, which Defendants sought in their reply brief and which did not give Plaintiff adequate notice and an opportunity to respond. Defendants may bring a noticed motion for attorney fees.

The Court sets a status conference regarding the status of the remaining parties and causes of action for November 17, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT48@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit. Parties who intend to appear are STRONGLY encouraged to appear remotely.

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