Skip to main content
Iowa Judicial Branch
Main Content

Case No. 20-0817

Joseph Goche

Plaintiff, a former manager of defendant limited liability company, appealed from a district court order awarding him limited attorney fees but denying his claim for “fees-on-fees” he incurred in litigation with the limited liability company and its members. Defendant cross-appealed, contending the district court erred in awarding any attorney fees. The court of appeals reversed and remanded on the appeal and affirmed on the cross-appeal. Defendant seeks further review.



Joseph Goche



Attorneys for the Resister

Philip J. Kaplan
Joseph G. Gamble
Wesley T. Graham

Attorney for the Applicant

Thomas W. Lipps

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule


Jan 20, 2022 9:00 AM


Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Mar 04, 2022
Date Amended:
Apr 29, 2022

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Jun 16, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Kossuth County, David A. Lester, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Heard by Doyle, P.J. and Mullins and May JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  Dissent by May, J.  (22 pages)

            Joseph Goche appeals a district court order awarding limited attorney fees and denying a “fees-on-fees” claim following a series of lawsuits filed against him by WMG, L.C. and its members.  WMG cross-appeals, arguing the district court erred in awarding any fees or, alternatively, that if fees were appropriate, they were miscalculated.  OPINION HOLDS: Attorney fees are a debt and are therefore recoverable.  Iowa Code § 489.408(1) (2017).  Awarding attorney fees to enforce indemnification follows Lynch v. City of Des Moines and its progeny.  See 464 N.W.2d 236, 240 (Iowa 1990); see also D.D. v. Davenport Cmty. Sch. Dist., No. 11-2094, 2013 WL 5228716, at *4 (Iowa Ct. App. Sept 18, 2013).  We reverse to the extent the district court declined to award any fees-on-fees and remand for an order allowing fees-on-fees and for determination of a reasonable amount.  We find no abuse of discretion in the value of indemnification for the fees incurred in defending against WMG’s claims.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I respectfully dissent because, in my view, section 489.408(1) (2017) does not require WMG to pay Goche for attorney fees he incurred through his litigation against WMG.

Other Information

Date Retained:
Aug 26, 2021
© 2024 Iowa Judicial Branch. All Rights Reserved.