Friday, January 20, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 8

Summary of Decision January 20, 2012

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Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

Case Name:  Thorkildsen v. Belden

Citation:  2012 WY 8

Docket Number: S-11-0146

Appeal from the District Court of Teton County, The Honorable Timothy C. Day, Judge

Representing Appellant (Defendant):  David G. Lewis, Attorney at Law, Jackson, Wyoming

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff): Richard J. Mulligan, Mulligan Law Office, Jackson, Wyoming; Heather Nobel, Jackson, Wyoming

Date of Decision: January 20, 2012

Facts:  In the fourth appeal of this matter, the Court took the unusual step of making a factual determination that the attorney fees Appellant requested were reasonable and directed the district court to enter an order awarding attorney fees in the amount of $77,475.00.  On remand, Appellant modified his attorney fee motion to also request a seven-percent prejudgment interest on the fee award.  The district court entered an order awarding the directed amount in attorney fees and denying the requested prejudgment interest. In this fifth appeal, Appellant challenged the district court’s entry of the order directed by this Court, claiming he is entitled to prejudgment interest on the fee award.  

Issues: Whether the District Court erroneously decided that the Appellant was not entitled to have prejudgment interest assessed on the attorney fees awarded him by the Wyoming Supreme Court in its decision Thorkildsen v. Belden, et al., 2011 WY 26, ¶ 27, 247 P.3d 60, 67 (Wyo. 2011); and 2) Whether the District Court correctly interpreted the decision in Thorkildsen v. Belden, et al., 2011 WY 26, ¶ 27, 247 P.3d 60, 67 (Wyo. 2011) to foreclose the defendant from seeking an award of prejudgment interest in any event.

Holdings:  The Court affirmed the district court’s Order Awarding Attorney’s Fees.

The court found the award of Appellant’s attorney fees was not a liquidated claim because this argument failed to consider the analysis and discretion a court brings to an award of attorney fees.  Appellant was therefore not entitled to prejudgment interest on the award.  The Court denied Appellee’s request for sanctions.

J. Golden delivered the opinion for the court.

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