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Quick Collect, Inc. v. Higgins

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-21-2013
Case #: A149114
Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Edmonds, S.J.; and Hadlock, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A149114.pdf

Appellate Procedure: Under ORAP 5.45(1), a party claiming error must present the claim of error to the trial court before the Court of Appeals will consider it on appeal.

Quick Collect (Quick) appealed the trial court's award of attorney fees in favor of Higgins. Quick filed a complaint to collect a debt owed by Higgins. The claim was sent to court-mandated arbitration. Prior to arbitration, Higgins filed a counterclaim for unlawful collection practices. The arbitrator found in favor of Quick on the debt, and in favor of Higgins on the unlawful collection practices. The arbitrator awarded attorney fees to each party on their respective claims. Quick argued that Higgins was only entitled to attorney fees incurred after the filing of the counterclaim and for the prosecution of that claim alone. The trial court disagreed and Quick appealed. On appeal, Quick argued that Higgins' fee petition was fatally defective and that Higgins was awarded fees for noncompensable work. The Court found that, at trial, Quick did not argue that the fee petition was fatally defective or that the billed hour entries for Higgins' claim and counterclaim were indistinguishable. Because Quick's claims were not brought to the trial court's attention, the Court of Appeals did not consider them on appeal. Additionally, the Court held that attorney fees are, in some cases appropriate for work performed prior to the filing of a claim. Affirmed.