Chou v. Farmers Ins. Exchange

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 01-23-2014
  • Case #: A145931
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Wollheim, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 20.310, parties must only include as costs those that were necessarily incurred in appearing for the appeal, exclusive of computerized legal research.

On appeal, arising out of Chou's action for breach of a homeowners' insurance policy, Chou sought to recover costs and attorney fees. Having disposed of Chou's attorney fee petition by unpublished order, the Court addressed Chou's request for costs. Under ORS 20.310, a prevailing party is entitled to recover costs on appeal, specifically, ORS 20.310(2) provides a list of recoverable costs. The Court dissected Chou's requests which purport to fall in the enumerated categories of ORS 20.310(2) and found that only those costs directly attributable to the appeal were allowable. The Court went on to decline allowing the recovery of legal research fees as costs; yet, declined to address whether computer-assisted research expenses might be recoverable as attorney fees. Finally, the Court did not award an enhanced prevailing party fee, under ORS 20.190(3), as defendant's appeal was not objectively unreasonable. Costs awarded to plaintiffs in the amount of $737.65.

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