Lee v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Arbitration
  • Date Filed: 06-29-2016
  • Case #: A156032
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The phrase "all issues of law and fact" in ORS 36.425(2) includes the amount of attorney fees. ORS 36.425(6) does not preclude discussion of the matter of attorney fees at trial, but rather creates an expedited process when "solely" the question of attorney fees remain in question after arbitration.

Plaintiff appealed an arbitration award for Defendant after the trial court refused to examine the arbitrator’s attorney fee award because Plaintiff requested trial de novo. Plaintiff argued the trial court erred in its construction of ORS 36.425. The Court determined that the phrase “all issues of law and fact” present in ORS 36.425(2) included the issue of attorney fees, and held that ORS 36.425(6) does not preclude discussion of the matter of attorney fees at trial, but rather “creates an expedited process when solely” the question of attorney fees remains in question after an arbitration. The Court used the example of Deacon v. Gilbert, 164 Or. App. 724, 995 P.2d 557 (2000), in which the Court held that a plaintiff’s choice to file for determination of attorney fees under ORS 36.425(6) is not precluded by a failure to file for a de novo ruling under ORS 36.425(2). Reversed and remanded.

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