California Attorney Fee Provision In Contract - Example Cases

In Cano v. Glover (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 326, the court held that a defendant who was sued on a contract containing an attorney fee clause could recover attorney fees after he was dismissed from the action, notwithstanding the existence of the contract was questionable. In Dell Merk, Inc. v. Franzia (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 443, the court held where a nonsignatory defendant is sued on a contract as if he were a party to it, and the contract contains an attorney fee clause, the prevailing defendant can recover attorney fees if the plaintiff would have been entitled to attorney fees had he prevailed. In Milman v. Shukhat (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 538, the court held that if a plaintiff sues on a contract containing an attorney fee provision, and the defendant prevails by arguing the unenforceability or nonexistence of that contract, the defendant is entitled to attorney fees because the action "'involves' a contract." (Id. at p. 545.) Finally, in Hastings v. Matlock (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 826, the court held a plaintiff who sued to enforce the rescission of a contract containing an attorney fee provision was entitled to recover attorney fees when he prevailed.