Due to a conflict between the panel`s decisions on this issue, the eighth arrondissement heard this case in the bench. In a 7-5 decision, Written by Justice Eileen A. Gallagher, and with Justices Mary Eileen Kilbane, Mary J. Boyle, Frank D. Celebrezze, Jr., Raymond C. Headen, Larry A. Jones, Sr. and Kathleen Ann Keough, the Eighth District upheld the court`s decision to impose the settlement agreement between Rayco and the law firms, but withdrew the Court`s refusal. In this context, the majority found that legal fees may be awarded to a dominant party in lieu of alternative damages upon application of a transaction agreement where legal fees are incurred as a result of a direct breach of the transaction agreement. The 8th arrondissement remanded the case in custody to determine the reasonable amount of legal fees incurred by law firms to enforce the transaction agreement. Rayco introduced areas to the court`s decision, by which the alleged transaction contract was applied. Law firms appealed the court`s decision denying legal fees.
If the court decides to characterize legal fees as “replacement damages,” the usual rules for proof and the determination of legal fees should apply. First, if a party invokes its right to a jury trial, the jury must make a substitute judgment. Accordingly, Rayco has the right to have the jury determine the amount of damages. Second, the party seeking damages must present evidence of such damages to the courts in order to preserve an alleged error by the Tribunal in not awarding that remedy. The law firms did not provide evidence of damages to the court. In fact, the law firms first expressed, through an inappropriate motion, the argument that they should receive a refund nine days after the end of the trial. As a result, the window of opportunity for proof of such damages has closed and law firms are not allowed to recover legal fees. Mayfran Internatl v. May Conveyor, Inc., 8. Dist. Cuyahoga no.
62913 (July 15, 1993) (finding that a dominant party, at the request of a transaction contract, was not entitled to recover the legal fees it had incurred to enforce the agreement as compensation, as it had not been established that the other party had acted in bad faith). Rayco appealed the majority`s decision that law firms could claim legal fees to enforce the agreement.