Acker’s First Question:
Is the court to understand that plaintiff is waiving any claim it may have to damages in the form of its attorneys’ fees except for the previously paid $65,000?
The Defendants have been advised by counsel for Renfroe that it will respond to this question. Defendants dispute that Renfroe is entitled to any damages in the form of attorney’s fees based on their breach of contract claim.
No, Renfroe does not waive its claim for damages in the form of its attorneys’ fees incurred in pursuing its claim for breach of contract (excluding the $65,000 already paid)…They were able to stipulate to the “consulting fees,” but not to the attorneys’ fees..[and]…agreed that Renfroe’s entitlement to attorneys’ fees could be decided by the Court, as fact finder, on motion…Renfroe will file by January 30, 2009…
Ready for the next?
Acker’s Second Question:
If plaintiff is still seeking attorneys’ fees, how do the parties propose to obtain a decision on the amount of fees attributable to defendants’ breach of contract? The only alternatives the court can envision are a stipulation or a trial.
The Court saw only two options to obtaining a decision on the amount of Renfroe’s attorney fees attributable to defendants’ breach of contract: stipulation or trial…In its forthcoming motion…Renfroe asks this Court, as fact finder, to determine the reasonableness and necessity of the requested attorneys’ fees based on (1) Renfroe’s motion, affidavit and supporting documents, (2) any opposition filed by defendants and/or Richard Scruggs and the Scruggs Law Firm (“Scruggs”), and (3) Renfroe’s reply to that opposition, or, alternatively, Renfroe asks for an evidentiary hearing on the reasonableness and necessity of the requested attorneys’ fees.
The resulting rulings by the Court on Renfroe’s impending motions for attorneys’ fees and for restitution of the Rigsbys’ ill-gotten “consulting fees,” its previous rulings on the breach of contract and trade secret motions for summary judgment…and its Permanent Injunction…will resolve all of the issues as to all`of the parties cited by Renfroe’s Complaint…(except for interest and costs, if any, to be awarded). Renfroe anticipates then filing a motion for entry of final judgment collecting all of the dispositive pieces in one motion to constitute a final judgment.
The parties are willing to stipulate that the question can be submitted on briefs, documentary evidence and sworn declarations. In connection with this stipulation, Renfroe has agreed to provide the Defendants with certain documents supporting its claim for the attorney’s fees it seeks. The Defendants reserve the right to challenge Renfroe’s claim; however, the parties agree that this can also be done by sworn declarations, if necessary. The parties intend to submit a stipulation that waives certain evidentiary objections, excluding relevance. Moreover, the Defendants do not waive their right to challenge the propriety of the categories of damages sought by Renfroe under Alabama contract law; causation; the reasonableness and necessity of the attorneys’ fees sought; and satisfaction of burden of proof. Nonetheless, the parties are willing to submit all of these issues on paper and without a trial.