By Glen C. Hansen

In County of Sacramento v. Sandison (May 29, 2009) 174 Cal.App.4th 646, the Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, held that the limitation on attorneys’ fees awards in Government Code section 25845, subdivision (c), does not apply to awards granted under Civil Code section 1717, and Code of Civil Procedure sections 1032, 1033.5, based on an attorneys’ fees provision in a written contract.
Continue Reading Limits on Attorneys’ Fees Awards Under Government Code Section 25845 are … Limited.

By Katherine J. Hart

The Riverwatch, et al. v. County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health, et al. (1989) 214 Cal.App.3d 1438 case involves the battle over attorney fees awarded to Petitioners by the trial court pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5, and proves that the courts are continuing the trend in awarding fees even for partially prevailing parties.
Continue Reading Attorney’s Fees in CEQA Cases: Hardly a Gamble Anymore

By Glen Hansen

In Silver Creek, LLC v. Blackrock Realty Advisors, Inc. (May 20, 2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 1533, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that the trial court abused its discretion when it decided there was no prevailing party on a contract for purposes of awarding attorney’s fees under Civil Code section 1717, subdivision (b), because the record clearly revealed that one party obtained greater relief on the contract in this mixed result case.
Continue Reading How Much Equitable Discretion Does a Trial Court Have in Deciding to Award Attorneys’ Fees When Litigation Results are Mixed?

By Glen C. Hansen

Only in California can you (1) pay taxes to create and support an unconstitutional agency, (2) pay taxes so that the unconstitutional agency defends itself, (3) win a ruling on the unconstitutionality, (4) force a legislative change, and (5) retain the privilege of paying for your own attorneys fees. Who says government is broken?
Continue Reading Making Change, But Losing The Dollars

by Elias E. Guzman

In Connerly v. State Personnel Board (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1169, the California Supreme Court recently held that amicus curiae were not liable for private attorney general fees because they were not an “opposing party” under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5. This opinion provides significant protection to an amicus curiae from having to pay attorney’s fees under the private attorney general statute.
Continue Reading Friends Don’t Let Friends Pay Attorney’s Fees

Are “losing” plaintiffs eligible to recover attorney’s fees under the private attorney general statute? According to Bowman v. City of Berkeley (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 173, a recent decision from the First District Court of Appeal, the answer may be yes. Plaintiffs won their initial due process claim in superior court when the court found that