Monday, April 30, 2018

Private Atty General fees MCLE

Today's DJ has an article and MCLE test by Matthew Ross, Sr. Appellate Court Attorney at 4/3, about Private Attorney General Fees. "Readers will learn about the standards for recovery of fees, including the requirement of the existence of an important right, providing a substantial benefit, the necessity and financial burden of private enforcement, and the "catalyst" theory of recovery. Readers will also learn about the standards of appellate review governing private attorney general fees orders." The usual standard of review is for abuse of discretion, but de novo review is warranted "where the determination of whether the criteria for an award of attorney fees and costs in this context have been satisfied amounts to statutory construction and a question of law." (Connerly v. State Personnel Bd. (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1169.)
Image result for feesAlso, "In reviewing the trial court's decision, [an appellate court] must pay 'particular attention to the trial court's stated reasons [and determine] whether it applied the proper standards of law in reaching its decision.' Families Unafraid to Uphold Rural El Dorado County v. Board of Supervisors, 79 Cal. App. 4th 505, 512 (2000)."  And "One appellate decision states that when Section 1021.5 attorney fees are awarded in the trial court following an appellate opinion, the award of fees is reviewed de novo. In that situation, "[a]n appellate court [is] in at least as good a position as the trial court to judge whether the legal right enforced through its own opinion is 'important' and 'protects the public interest' and whether the existence of that opinion confers a 'significant benefit on the general public or a large class of persons.'" Los Angeles Police Protective League v. City of Los Angeles, 188 Cal. App. 3d 1 (1986)."