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A Trap for the Unwary: Order on a Post-Settlement Fee Motion May Be Unappealable

Tim Kowal     February 3, 2022

CEB has published my short article, “A Trap for the Unwary: Order on a Post-Settlement Fee Motion May Be Unappealable.” (The article was originally published on my blog here.) The article covers the published opinion in Sanchez v. Westlake Services, LLC (D2d7 Jan. 18, 2022 No. B308435) 2022 WL 1522087. The parties settled a consumer rights lawsuit concerning the sale of a car, with the settlement providing that the plaintiff may seek a motion for attorney fees. The trial court denied fees as barred by the sale contract. The plaintiff appealed the order denying her fees. The court dismissed the appeal because the order was not appealable.

The Upshot: When you are considering appealing orders granting or denying motions to enforce a settlement agreement subject to the trial court’s jurisdiction under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6, ask the trial court to enter a judgment on the order. That may be the only way to ensure the order is appealable.

And there are many trap doors when your appeal is mixed up with a dismissal.

My original article is here: http://bit.ly/3gklJjJ

Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at CALpodcast.com, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys. Contact Tim at [email protected] or (949) 676-9989.
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