Jewett v. Sterling Furniture Co.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 04-20-2016
  • Case #: A158277
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; & Flynn, J.

Under ORS 20.075, an attorney's characterizations of the record are not evidence to be considered when determining the proper award of attorney’s fees.

Jewett (Plaintiff) appealed the trial court’s supplemental judgment awarding attorney fees in an amount less than requested. The trial court based its judgment on its finding that Plaintiff had abandoned a successful settlement negotiation. Plaintiff participated in arbitration, which resulted in an award of attorney fees over $15,000. Plaintiff requested a new trial to determine costs and attorney fees. The trial court awarded less than $4,000 for attorney fees, finding that Plaintiff had “abandoned what had been successful settlement negotiations.” The Court held that the trial court based its finding on a “materially erroneous factual premise” because “the parties’ emails [were] the only evidence in the record regarding the parties [relevant] conduct” and the defense counsel’s characterizations were not evidence to support an objective finding that plaintiff abandoned the negotiations. Supplemental judgment for attorney fees vacated and remanded for reconsideration.

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