Pacific Corp. Group Holdings, LLC v. Keck, 2014 WL 7012380 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014)

PCGH sued its former employee, Thomas Keck, to collect on an unpaid promissory note. Keck defended against the action by claiming that any money he owed PCGH was offset by monies PCGH owed him for unpaid bonus and severance payments due under two employment agreements he had with PCGH. In a special verdict, the jury found that PCGH owed Keck $270,547.95 under the terms of a 2006 employment agreement. PCGH filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or for new trial, and Keck filed a motion for additur or in the alternative for a new trial on damages on the ground that the jury had awarded him inadequate damages. The trial court granted Keck’s motion and issued an additur and a conditional order granting a new trial on damages to which PCGH refused to consent. Both parties filed motions for attorneys’ fees, which the trial court denied. Both parties filed appeals, but because the trial court’s order granting a new trial on damages resulted in a vacatur of the underlying judgment, the Court of Appeal concluded that it lacked appellate jurisdiction to consider the parties’ appeals and, thus, affirmed the trial court’s orders and remanded the matter to the trial court with directions to conduct a new trial on damages. See also Danko v. O’Reilly, 2014 WL 7201693 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) (adding name law firm partner as additional judgment debtor in former law firm attorney’s successful breach of contract action did not violate bankruptcy stay or doctrines of res judicata or collateral estoppel).