Jones v. GoodmanAnnotate this Case
Trevor Jones contended he was entitled to a percentage of the successful Pura Vida bracelet business established with his former friends and colleagues, defendants Paul Goodman and Griffin Thall. He claimed the parties had formed a partnership regarding a bracelet business and sued Goodman and Thall seeking (among other things) a partnership buyout under California Corporations Code section 16701. Defendants denied Jones’s claims, and judgment was entered in their favor. After trial, Defendants sought to recover attorney fees pursuant to section 16701, which authorized an equitable award of attorney and expert fees “against a party that the court finds acted arbitrarily, vexatiously, or not in good faith.” The trial court denied Defendants’ motion on two grounds: (1) the motion was untimely under applicable rules; and (2) on the merits, the court declined to find that Jones acted arbitrarily, vexatiously, or not in good faith. Defendants appealed, contesting the trial court's sua sponte determination the motion was untimely, and they further challenged the court’s refusal to find Jones acted arbitrarily, vexatiously, or not in good faith. After review, the Court of Appeal concurred with the trial court, rejected Defendants’ claims of error, and affirmed the order.