Williams v. Gaylord

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 12-31-2014
  • Case #: A153249
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Hadlock, J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 31.735(1), attorneys may recover a 40% statutory share of damages, regardless of whether there is additional recovery.

Williams, as the personal representative of the Estate of Jesse D. Williams, appealed the judgment approving payment of attorney fees and costs to attorneys who represented the estate. After the estate received a punitive damages award, their attorneys sought their share as provided for in ORS 31.735(1). The estate claimed the trial court erroneously interpreted ORS 31.735(1), which resulted in this judgment, claiming the attorney fee cap in that statute limits what attorneys may receive as a result of additional recovery. The Court held that, because the statute does not address different rules for additional recovery, an attorney may receive fees that are based upon the prevailing party's 40 percent statutory share of a punitive damages. Affirmed.

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