This is a case I took up on appeal for another lawyer and won. I represented the plaintiff, the Marandas Family Trust. Plaintiff owns a cabin on Mount Hood. After plaintiff hired defendants to repair the roof of the cabin, plaintiff discovered that the defendants’ repairs were faulty, and the roof had leaked rainwater causing damage inside the cabin. Plaintiff sued. In court-annexed arbitration, plaintiff won almost all the money it sought for the damage to the cabin, plus costs and disbursements, but the arbitrator denied plaintiff’s attorney fees under ORS 20.080(1). Plaintiff filed exceptions (objections) to the arbitrator’s decision in the circuit court, which the circuit court denied. I was hired to take the appeal. This was a fight over the right to recover statutory attorney fees, and the interpretation of the applicable state statute, ORS 20.080(1). Specifically, the issue was the interpretation of a new clause, added to the statute in 2009.
The Court of Appeals’ opinion
This appeal took four years to reach decision before the Court of Appeals published its detailed opinion, ruling in my client’s favor, and reversing the arbitrator and the Circuit Court below. See Marandas Family Trust v. Pauley, 286 Or App 381 (2017). This is a important win for my client, but it is also an important opinion for the general public and the courts statewide because it interprets and explains one of the 2009 revisions to ORS 20.080(1).
Remand to the Multnomah County Circuit Court
This appeal will now be remanded (returned) to the trial court for further proceedings, to award attorney fees to plaintiff, the Marandas Family Trust.