California Supreme Court
997 P.2d 511 (2000)
David Drexler (defendant) was an attorney. Drexler purchased professional malpractice insurance from PLCM Group, Inc. (PLCM) (plaintiff). The insurance policy contained a deductible of $20,000 and permitted PLCM to recover attorney fees if PLCM had to pursue litigation to recover the deductible amount. Drexler was sued for malpractice and submitted a claim to PLCM. A law firm was retained to represent Drexler, but Drexler failed to pay the full deductible amount. PLCM sued Drexler to recover $10,319.62. PLCM used its in-house counsel for the litigation. Drexler rejected settlement attempts and engaged in extensive discovery and motion practice. PLCM prevailed at trial and petitioned the trial court for attorney fees of $61,050. The fee amount was based on the prevailing hourly rate of $185 multiplied by the number of attorney hours expended, which is known as the lodestar calculation. Drexler argued that attorney fees for in-house counsel were not recoverable. The trial court awarded the full amount to PLCM. Drexler appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Mosk, J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Chin, J.)
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