Result Was Original Judgment Was Vacated, So No Postjudgment Fee Orders Existed.
In Pacific Corp. Group Holdings, LLC v. Keck, Case No. D062277 (4th Dist., Div. 1 Dec. 12, 2014) (published), defendant/cross-complainant employee won a substantial $270,547.95 breach of contract verdict against cross-defendant employer. However, he moved for a new trial motion arguing the jury’s verdict was not high enough. The lower court granted the new trial with an additur, but the cross-defendant employer did not accept the additur such that the original judgment was vacated and the case ordered back to a new trial on damages. Both sides moved for attorney’s fees, and the trial judge denied both requests. Both sides appealed.
With respect to the fee denial orders, the appellate court determined that it had no appellate jurisdiction to review these orders. The problem was that the original judgment was vacated such that there were no postjudgment fee orders. Also, the collateral order doctrine did not apply. So everyone will have to await what happens at the new trial before the fees issues can be addressed down the line (unless the parties decide to settle on some basis in the interim).