Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Should lawyer have demanded legal fees from defendent? Case here, my mother held title in mobile home as tenants in common with rights of suviorship, with her partner's nephew. Her partner died. Nephews family fraduently signed my mother's name and transferred title and put the property up for sale. She hired an attorney and he filed appropiate complaint, writ of possession and restraining order. It subsequently went into arbitration and was then agreed to be put up for sale, proceeds split 50/50. The attorney accumulated nearly 23k in fees and expenses, a majority of which was to get her ownership back. There was mention of reimbursement of legal fees in orginal complaint, but was not part of the final settlement. It seems just wrong my mother had to spend this much money for other's fradulent action, and they had no real fiscal consequence, forced the sale of the home and took the car to boot. Any advice would be appreciated..

Asked on 7/25/09, 4:13 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Carl Starrett Law Offices of Carl H. Starrett II

In California, the winning party can only recover legal fees if the there is a contract that specifies that the winning party gets legal fees or if there is a statute entitling the winner to recover fees. Settlements are usually compromises and legal fees are among the first things to be compromised.

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Answered on 7/27/09, 1:02 am

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