Summer 2013 • Issue 48, page 19

Advice When Fees Are Denied: Request a Statement of Decision if Planning to Appeal

By Pasternak, David*

David Pasternak of the LA/OC Chapter reports on a recent unpublished opinion from the Court of Appeal overturning, on grounds of abuse of discretion, the partial denial by a Los Angeles Superior Court of fees and costs in the Final Report and Account. It was an unusual case because the court attached a sheet to the Final Report order itemizing the fees and costs that were denied, asserting that the receivership “should have” wrapped up approximately 2 years earlier. The case and the receivership continued in existence while a related appeal was being successfully defended. David researched the law but was unable to find any reported case reversing a trial court judge who denied a receiver’s fees, based on the high bar of the abuse of discretion standard. The moral of this story seems to be that any time the court denies a significant amount of requested fees, a receiver who may want to appeal the denial and try to recover the fees should request a statement of decision specifying what line item fees are being denied and for what reason.

*David Pasternak, a member of Pasternak, Pasternak & Patton, a Century City law firm, is a founding Co-Chair of the L.A./Orange County branch of the California Receivers Forum. He serves as a receiver, provisional director and partition referee, and represents the same as counsel. He recently represented a former L.A. Superior Court judge serving as a partition referee.