APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF ST. CHARLES, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 82, 418, DIVISION
"C" HONORABLE EMILE R. ST. PIERRE, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, VILLAGE SHOPPING CENTER
PARTNERSHIP Leonard A. Davis Charles M. King
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, KIMBLE DEVELOPMENT, LLC AND
MICHAEL KIMBLE David C. Fleshman David B. Phelps Ross A.
composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Jude G.
Gravois, and Stephen J. Windhorst
STEPHEN J. WINDHORST JUDGE
appeal, appellant, Village Shopping Center Partnership
("Village"), seeks review of the trial court's
award of attorneys' fees of $24, 173.64, which was less
than half of the amount of the $64, 316.09 in attorneys'
fees sought by Village. After review of the record, we amend
the trial court's judgment awarding $24, 173.64 in
attorneys' fees; and render judgment awarding Village
$44, 316.09 in attorney fees.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
background of this case is set forth in Village Shopping
Center Partnership v. Kimble Development, LLC and Michael
Kimble, 18-740 (La.App. 5 Cir. 4/24/19), 271 So.3d 376.
2013, appellee, Kimble Development, LLC ("Kimble"),
entered into a Contract for Development with Village to build
an O'Reilly Auto Parts store on Village's property.
According to the contract, Village agreed to pay Kimble a
development fee of $35, 000, and Kimble agreed to be
responsible for all construction costs of the building
exceeding $688, 944.00, with the exception of unforeseen or
uncontrollable costs such as asbestos or environmental
mitigation and site clean-up. Pursuant to a contract
addendum, the construction costs were adjusted to $713,
413.71, thereby increasing Kimble's obligation for costs
exceeding that amount. Village ultimately paid construction
costs of $761, 700.99, in addition to the $35, 000.00
development fee. Village sought reimbursement from Kimble for
the overpayment. Kimble refused to pay Village for the
overpayment and litigation ensued.
discovery concluded, Village filed a motion for summary
judgment, seeking to recover from Kimble the overpayment owed
under the contract. The trial court granted Village's
summary judgment motion on July 20, 2018, awarding $48,
347.28. On appeal of that judgment, this Court affirmed the
trial court's judgment granting Village's motion for
summary judgment and the award of damages to Village.
Village Shopping Center Partnership, supra.
Village's petition for damages and accounting and
reimbursement, Village also asserted that it would be
entitled to attorneys' fees and costs from Kimble. The
contract contained a provision stating that the
"prevailing party in any litigation or dispute regarding
breach and enforcement of this Agreement shall be entitled to
reasonable attorneys' fees and court costs from the
non-prevailing party." Village sought $64, 316.09 in
attorneys' fees and costs related to its contractual
claim against Kimble. Kimble objected to this amount.
conjunction with seeking its attorneys' fees, Village set
forth the work necessary to obtain a judgment in this
contractual matter. After attempts to resolve the matter
amicably failed, Village's counsel investigated Kimble
and drafted and filed the petition. In response to the
petition, Kimble filed a peremptory exception of no right of
action, which required consultation with the client, legal
research, drafting and filing an opposition, and a court
appearance. Kimble's exception was ultimately denied.
Village also had to plan and prepare a defense to
Kimble's affirmative defenses asserted in its answer.
Village issued and responded to discovery requests, reviewing
more than 2, 000 pages of documents from Kimble's
production. Village prepared for corporate representative
depositions by compiling exhibits totaling hundreds of pages
and preparing outlines for the depositions of Kimble's
two corporate representatives.
reviewing the deposition transcripts and discovery documents,
Village's counsel prepared a Motion for Summary Judgment,
a statement of essential legal elements, a statement of
undisputed facts, and organized sixteen (16) exhibits to
attach to the motion. Village also drafted a reply to
Kimble's opposition and argued the motion in trial court.
All of this was done successfully to obtain summary judgment
in favor of Village for the full amount requested.
support of its claim for attorneys' fees, Village
submitted invoices and billing statements alleging
entitlement to $64, 316.09 in attorneys' fees and costs.
Kimble submitted two oppositions to Village's motion for
attorneys' fees, and Village filed two reply memos.
Relative to the amount of the fees, Village asserted that all
fees were reasonable, as well as emphasized that the
litigation took approximately two years, and that it obtained
a judgment for the full amount sought in the petition.
Hearings were held on October 29, 2018 and December 13, 2018
to determine the amount of attorneys' fees and costs to
which Village was entitled. At the hearing, Village's
counsel testified regarding the fees incurred. Upon review,
the trial court ...