California Civil Code Section 1794
Civil Code section 1794, subdivision (a) states:
"Any buyer of consumer goods who is damaged by a failure to comply with any obligation under this chapter or under an implied or express warranty or service contract may bring an action for the recovery of damages and other legal and equitable relief." And subdivision (d) of section 1794 provides: "If the buyer prevails in an action under this section, the buyer shall be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including attorney's fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the buyer in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action."
"The plain wording of the statute requires the trial court to base the fee award upon actual time expended on the case, as long as such fees are reasonably incurred--both from the standpoint of time spent and the amount charged. ... 'It requires the trial court to make an initial determination of the actual time expended; and then to ascertain whether under all the circumstances of the case the amount of actual time expended and the monetary charge being made for the time expended are reasonable. These circumstances may include, but are not limited to, factors such as the complexity of the case and procedural demands, the skill exhibited and the results achieved. If the time expended or the monetary charge being made for the time expended are not reasonable under all the circumstances, then the court must take this into account and award attorney fees in a lesser amount.' ...
The prevailing party has the burden of showing that the fees incurred were reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation, and were reasonable in amount." (Robertson v. Fleetwood Travel Trailers of California, Inc. (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 785, 817-818.)
The fees incurred in preparing a motion for fees are properly includable in the award. (Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1133 104 Cal. Rptr. 2d 377, 17 P.3d 735 "an attorney fee award should ordinarily include compensation for all the hours reasonably spent, including those relating solely to the fee".)
We apply an abuse of discretion standard when reviewing a trial court order awarding attorney fees. (City of Colton v. Singletary (2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 751.)
"'Trial judges are entrusted with this discretionary determination because they are in the best position to assess the value of the professional services rendered in their courts.'" (Ellis v. Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 853, 882.) Hence, the fee award '"will not be disturbed unless the appellate court is convinced that it is clearly wrong."' (Serrano v. Priest (1977) 20 Cal.3d 25, 49.)
Indulging all inferences in favor of the trial court's order, as we are required to do, we presume the trial court's attorney fees award is correct, and "when the trial court substantially reduces a fee or cost request, we infer the court has determined the request was inflated." (Christian Research Institute v. Alnor (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1323.)