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The trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding $654,000 in attorney fees despite the fact that the plaintiff individually recovered only $2,300.  Plaintiff's success benefitted 130 other owners in a homeowners association.  In any event, attorney fee awards need not be proportional to the damage award.  Though fee awards may be reduced for partial success, a high fee-to-damage… Read More

A student prevailed in litigation against UCSB over its failure to follow its own policies requiring prompt investigation of sexual harassment or violence charges against a student particlarly when the university imposed an interim suspension on the student.  The student was reinstated and secured an injunction barring similarly delayed proceedings against other students.  This decision holds that the student is… Read More

Plaintiff secured a judgment against X based in part on a contract containing an attorney fee clause.  Thereafter, plaintiff sued Saleen seeking to enforce the judgment against him as X's alter ego.  Saleen won and moved for an attorney fee award.  Held, Saleen is entitled to a fee award.  Even though the suit on the judgment is technically not a… Read More

Substantial evidence supported the trial court's finding that defendant's payment to an insider creditor who had not sought to enforce his debt for longer than the applicable statute of limitations was nevertheless not a fraudulent transfer made with actual intent to defraud plaintiff, a judgment creditor, but was only a preference--paying one creditor rather than another.  On appeal, the appellate… Read More

The district court abused its discretion in setting the hourly rate based solely on the amounts awarded the same attorney in prior decisions in other cases while rejecting his affidavits regarding hourly rates of other attorneys prosecuting similar types of actions. No. 16-16179, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 27491 (9th Cir. Sep. 12, 2019) Read More

A trial court may award attorney fees to the prevailing party for a prior appeal without regard to the appellate court’s award or denial of costs on the appeal. Read More

The trial court abused its discretion in denying a prevailing plaintiff attorney fees since the defendant’s initial settlement offer (which the plaintiff rejected) did not comply with section 998. Read More

A provision in a homeowners' association's covenants, conditions, and restrictions that banned "any business or commercial activity" did not prevent a homeowner from maintaining a vineyard on his property, since the CC&R in question should be interpreted to promote its evident purpose of maintaining the residential character of the neighborhood, not so as to impose any added restrictions not needed… Read More

When a trial court applies a substantial negative multiplier to a presumptively accurate lodestar attorney fee amount, the court must clearly explain its case-specific reasons for the percentage reduction, and the trial court abuses its discretion if the reasons for the reduction include tying the fee award to some proportion of the buyer’s damages. Read More

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