Kim v. Mansoori
In Kim v. Mansoori, 214 Ariz. 457, 153 P.3d 1086 (App. 2007), the trial court had granted the defendant's motion for partial summary judgment, finding the plaintiffs would not be entitled to an award of their attorney fees if they were successful on the merits of the case. Kim, 214 Ariz. 457, PP 3-4, 153 P.3d at 1088.
Plaintiffs appealed from that decision, and this court found it lacked jurisdiction over the issue because the judgment was not an appealable, final judgment.
The Court noted that "a party's entitlement to attorney fees cannot, in most cases, be determined until the court has first reached a decision 'on the merits of the cause.'" Id. PP 12, 14.