The trial court did not abuse its discretion in reducing the fees awarded to defendant on its successful Anti-SLAPP motion from the requested $152,000 to $30,000. Discretion was not abused in setting the hourly rate of all defendants’ attorneys at $275. While defendant submitted an expert declaration justifying the lead attorney’s $770 rate, the trial court could properly take into account the fact that an attorney representing a co-defendant charged only $275 and got a similarly good result on an Anti-SLAPP motion addressing more claims. The trial court could also credit the plaintiff’s declarations stating that most of the work should have been done by lower level associates. Discretion was also not abused in substantially reducing the claimed hours for block-billing, vague entries, excessive time, and time charged for work on portions of the case other than the Anti-SLAPP motion.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1 (McDonald, Acting P.J.); May 18, 2016 (published June 16, 2016); 2016 WL 2946199