Big River Construction, Inc. v. City of Tillamook

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 02-15-2017
  • Case #: A152131
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 20.220(3)(a), “when an appeal is taken from a general judgment . . . to which an award of attorney fees or costs and disbursements relate, . . . if the appellate court reverses the general judgment, the award of attorney fees or costs and disbursements shall be deemed reversed."

Plaintiff and third-party defendant petitioned for reconsideration of the Court of Appeals decision in Big River Construction, Inc. v. City of Tillamook, 281 Or App 787 (2016). Plaintiff and third-party defendant assigned error to the Court’s prior disposition because it failed to affirm the portions of the general judgment that the Court did not reverse, and therefore mistakenly reversed and remanded the supplemental judgment awarding Plaintiff attorney's fees under ORS 20.220(3)(a). Plaintiff argued, the supplemental judgment related to their defense against the city’s counterclaim—not to the portion of the general judgment that Court reversed—and it should, therefore, not have been reversed under ORS 20.220(3)(a). In response, the City argued that the supplemental judgment awarding attorney fees was made pursuant the general judgment, and therefore the Court’s disposition should not be modified. Under ORS 20.220(3)(a), “when an appeal is taken from a general judgment . . . to which an award of attorney fees or costs and disbursements relate, . . . if the appellate court reverses the general judgment, the award of attorney fees or costs and disbursements shall be deemed reversed.” In this case, the trial court ruled that Plaintiff and third-party defendant were entitled to attorney fees under ORS 742.061 and that Plaintiff was not entitled to attorney fees incurred solely to prosecute its claims against the City. Therefore, the Court of Appeals modified its former opinion to affirm the supplemental judgment awarding Plaintiff attorney fees. Affirmed.

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