Under Ed. Code 44944, if the Commission on Professional Competence determines that a teacher should not be dismissed or suspended, the employing school district which sought to discharge him must pay the teacher the “reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the” teacher.  This decision holds that the quoted language does not limit fee recovery to the actual amount charged by the teacher’s attorney but instead merely invokes the usual lodestar approach to an attorney fee award under which the hourly rate is set by the market rate for attorney services, not by the actual hourly rate the attorney charged the teacher.

California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District (Mauro, J.); April 26, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 370