Javidian v. Subaru of America, Inc. (Feb. 16, 2024, B322136) 2024 WL 653239

GMSR’s client tentatively agreed to a settlement for a fixed amount, plus attorney fees to be resolved via motion.  After the parties notified the trial court about their tentative settlement, the court set a hearing on an order to show cause regarding dismissal.  The court ordered the parties to file any attorney fee motion before that hearing date—which was long before the fees motion deadline under California Rules of Court, rule 3.1702.  When GMSR’s client filed the fee motion after the court’s deadline but within Rule 3.1702’s allotted time, the court denied the motion as untimely.

The Court of Appeal reversed, agreeing with GMSR that the trial court lacked authority to shorten Rule 3.1702’s deadline, and that the Rule’s history “supports the conclusion that trial courts do not have unlimited authority to shorten the specified time limits for filing a motion for attorney fees.”  The Court remanded and directed the trial court to address the fee motion on the merits.

To read the Court of Appeal Opinion, click HERE.