Entitlement to Attorney’s Fees in Probate Matter Resolved – Win at the Supreme Court:
Carlin v. Javorek
The issue was whether the Supreme Court should exercise its discretionary jurisdiction to review of the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s reversal of a trial court’s order denying an award of attorney’s fees to our client.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal recently reversed a trial court decision holding that our client was not entitled to attorney’s fees despite finding that the opposing party was in breach of the parties’ settlement agreement. The trial court found that the opposing party breached the settlement agreement by failing to produce the required medical forms and failing to execute a medical release. However, the trial court held that the breach was not material and denied both parties’ requests for attorney’s fees. The Fourth District Court of Appeal reviewed the issue de novo and held that the trial court did not err in denying the opposing party’s request for attorney’s fees, but erred in finding that the opposing party’s breach was immaterial and in denying our client’s request for reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to the parties’ settlement agreement. The Fourth District Court of Appeal found that the opposing party materially breached the settlement agreement and that the settlement agreement’s clear and unambiguous terms mandated an award of attorney’s fees to our client as the prevailing party. The opposing party petitioned the Supreme Court for discretionary review claiming that the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision expressly and directly conflicted with other district court and Supreme Court decisions. Our law firm continued representation of our client in the Supreme Court. Jurisdictional briefs were filed by both parties.
In agreement with the arguments in our jurisdictional brief, the Supreme Court declined to exercise its discretionary jurisdiction, denied opposing party’s petition for review, and awarded additional attorney’s fees to our client.