“Seasoning a disagreement with avoidable irritants can turn a minor conflict in a costly and protracted war. All of those human hours, which could have been put to socially productive uses, instead are devoted to the unnecessary war and are lost forever. All sides lose, as does the justice system, which must supervise these hostilities.” -Justice Wiley, Karton v. Ari Design & Construction, Inc. (2021)
Most of us have heard the saving “Civility costs nothing, and buys everything”, but in the case of Karon v. Ari, Karon’s lack of civility cost him quite a bit. In this case decided just as of March 2021, the CA Court of Appeal used its discretion to lower Karon’s attorney’s fees by $210,000, causing him to lose any sort of reimbursement for the countless hours he spent accumulating these fees on his own case.
The background of the case goes like this. Karton, Petitioner, hired a contractor who was unlicensed and uninsured. In CA, when a contractor fails to prove he has a license and insurance, CA will not protect that contractor if that contractor gets later sued in court. Meaning, if the contractor breaches their contract for not completing their work, they don’t only have to pay back for the work they did not complete, they have to pay back everything. Even if they completed most of the work and purchased all the supplies. This is public policy to discourage unlicensed contractors from entering into agreements.