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Tilton v. Lee

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-13-2013
Case #: A147058
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Hadlock, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A147058.pdf

Attorney Fees: Under ORS 116.103, reduction of a requested attorney fee award by a trial court does not constitute an objection in an estate proceeding.

Tilton appealed from a trial court judgment that, among other things, reduced the attorney fee award from the $22,729.40 requested by Tilton to $9,500. Among Tilton's assignments of error, was the claim that the trial court should have scheduled a hearing regarding attorney fees. After a denial of a petition for interim payment for attorney fees, Tilton's attorney submitted a final accounting that failed to address any concerns the trial court judge outlined in his first letter opinion denying interim fees. The trial judge, through another letter opinion, held that the reasonable attorney fees under 116.183 were limited to $9,500 in this case. Tilton requested a hearing to address the attorney fee issue, which was denied by the trial judge. Then the trial judge modified and signed Tilton's proposed judgment of final distribution with the attorney fees limited to $9,500. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court properly used ORS 116.183 in determining attorney fees. Additionally, ORS 116.103 does not provide for a hearing for "any" person entitled to notice, but rather, only those who under ORS 116.093 are afforded that opportunity. Since the administrator of the estate is not one listed, their objection does not require a hearing. Seeing no other error, the Court affirmed the trial courts decision. Affirmed.