In cases seeking a writ of mandate, where the question is one of public right and the object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty, the [petitioner] need not show that he has any legal or special interest in the result, since it is sufficient that he is interested as a citizen in having the laws executed and the duty in question enforced. This public right/public duty exception to the requirement of standing applies only to writ of mandate proceedings. Here, the complaint did not seek a writ of mandate, though it mentioned mandate in the caption and prayer. What it sought was monetary penalties from Coastal Commission members who had not made required disclosures about ex parte communications they had received about Coastal Commission permitting actions. For that claim, real standing was required. The trial court mistakenly converted an exception to public interest standing in mandamus actions–in those actions, the trial court may, in its discretion, deny public interest standing if it finds that other interests outweigh the public interest in the plaintiff’s proceeding–into the reverse of granting standing in the trial court’s discretion where it otherwise would be lacking. That transformation is not legally supportable.