Attorneys Fees In Dealership Agreement Suit

In Boyd v. Oscar Fisher Co. (1989) 210 Cal. App. 3d 368 [258 Cal. Rptr. 473], an attorney's fees clause was contained in invoices sent by a manufacturer to a dealer but not in the distributorship or franchise agreement between the parties. In a suit by the dealer for unjustifiable termination of the dealership agreement which included a cross-claim by the manufacturer for unpaid invoices, the court awarded the manufacturer attorney's fees. Responding to the dealer's argument that attorney's fees should be limited to attorney's collection fee efforts on the invoices, the court stated that Civil Code section 1717 should not be read so restrictively, as the attorney's fees provision should apply to the entire contractual relationship. The court in Boyd referred to the relevant language of Civil Code section 1717: " 'Where a contract provides for attorney fees . . . such provision shall be construed as applying to the entire contract . . . .' " (Boyd v. Oscar Fisher Co., supra, 210 Cal. App. 3d at p. 380; see also Myers Building Industries, Ltd. v. Interface Technology, Inc. (1993) 13 Cal. App. 4th 949 [17 Cal. Rptr. 2d 242].)