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C.P. v. Bernstein

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-20-2013
Case #: A148503
Sercombe, P.J. for the court; Haselton, C.J.; and Hadlock, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A148503.pdf

Attorney Fees: ORS 20.105 and 36.715 requires an award of attorney fees and the court must award them as authorized under these statutes.

C.P. appealed award of attorney fees and costs to personal representatives of the estate of C.P.'s father, Brian Perry, and father's wife, Yoko Perry. C.P. demanded a share of the two estates, went through mediation, and was awarded a one-sixth share of one estate. The personal representatives claimed all further claims were to be dropped. C.P. and the personal representatives went to arbitration, where the arbitrator found in favor of the personal representatives and estates. C.P. then filed a petition for 1/3 of the estate and tort claims against both representatives. The trial court granted summary judgment, upholding the arbitration agreement, but filed a supplemental judgment for attorney fees under ORS 20.105 and ORS 36.715. All the attorney fees were awarded to one estate so Plaintiff could not inherit those fees out of the other estate. Plaintiff appealed the supplemental award and claimed the allocation to one estate and not between both estates was an error. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred in awarding the fees. According to ORS 20.105 and ORS 36.715 the fees were incurred by both estates and should have been split and awarded to both estates. Reversed and Remanded in part; affirmed in part.