TROY W. KLEIN, Appellant,
ALAN D. ROMAN and DEBORAH W. ROMAN, Appellees.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
appeals from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial
Circuit, Palm Beach County; Scott Suskauer, Judge; L.T. Case
W. Klein of Law Office of Troy W. Klein, P.A., West Palm
Beach, pro se.
Jeffrey S. D'Amore and Rosemarie W. Guerini of
D'Amore Law Firm, P.A., Palm Beach Gardens, for appellee
Alan D. Roman.
G. Weiss of Jill G. Weiss, P.A., Palm Beach Gardens, for
appellee Deborah W. Roman.
Troy Klein makes several arguments on appeal related to the
trial court's order granting Appellee Alan Roman's
motion to release Appellant's charging lien and award
sanctions. We write only to address two of Appellant's
arguments on appeal: (1) whether the trial court erred by
awarding attorney's fees to Appellee without eliciting
the testimony of an independent expert, and (2) whether the
court erred by failing to expressly apply the
"lodestar" method to calculate those fees. We find
the first argument meritless, but reverse the second. We
affirm all other issues on appeal without discussion.
was the attorney for Appellee's former wife in a
dissolution of marriage proceeding. Because of unpaid
attorney's fees owed under a contract with Appellee's
former wife, Appellant filed a notice of charging lien
asserting an interest in the former wife's two homes.
However, as part of the marital settlement agreement,
Appellee received one of the properties.
Appellee sought to sell that property, he learned of the lien
and sent a letter to Appellant demanding a release, to no
avail. Appellee subsequently filed a motion to release the
lien and award sanctions. The trial court held a hearing at
which Appellee's counsel testified regarding the amount
of attorney's fees he incurred in the effort to have the
lien removed. Counsel submitted an affidavit detailing his
hourly rate, the number of hours worked, and the type of work
he had done.
trial court granted Appellee's motion, and ordered
Appellant to release the charging lien and to pay Appellee
$5, 146.50 in attorney's fees. Afterwards, Appellant
submitted a motion for rehearing, making almost all the same
arguments he now makes on appeal. The trial court denied the
standard of review of an award of attorneys' fees is
abuse of discretion." Diwakar v. Montecito Palm
Beach Condo. Ass'n., 143 So.3d 958, 960 (Fla. 4th
DCA 2014). The award must be supported by competent,
substantial evidence. Id.
first argues that the trial court's award of
attorney's fees was erroneous given that Appellee
"failed to present any independent expert testimony
regarding the reasonableness of the attorney's fees being
sought despite the well-established legal requirement to do
so." We need not consider the merits of Appellant's
argument, as it was unpreserved. Appellant failed to make a
timely, contemporaneous objection at the fee hearing
regarding Appellee's failure to provide independent
expert testimony. See San Pedro v. Law Office of Paul
Burkhart, 168 So.3d 299, 300 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015)
("To the extent that Appellants now contest the
admission of the exhibits and the lack of testimony, those
arguments were waived when Appellants failed to object at the
hearing."); Diwakar, 143 So.3d at 960 ("To
the extent Diwakar argues on appeal that the attorneys'
fee award was erroneous in the absence of testimony from a
fees expert plus the attorney who performed the work, the
argument was waived when Diwakar failed to object at
trial."); DM Records, Inc. v. Turnpike Commercial
Plaza, Phase II, Condo. Ass'n, 894 ...