Chang v. Chang, Case No. G049309 (4th Dist., Div. 3 Sept. 29, 2015) (Unpublished; Ikola, J.).—Probate.
In this and a companion appeal, the appellate court cut some surcharges to the trustee of about $345,000. Because of this companion ruling, the appellate court sent back a $187,900 fee award against trustee and in favor of beneficiary (his brother) under Probate Code section 17211(b). The surcharge cut might impact the lower court’s view of whether fees should be the same or different.
L.A. County Regional Park and Open Space Dist. v. City of Whittier, Case No. B257541 (2d Dist., Div. 1 Sept. 29, 2015) (Unpublished)—Private Attorney General.
Petitioner won mandate based on a contract-based claim under a project agreement with Whittier, but not claims based on Proposition A violations, the public trust doctrine, and CEQA. Petitioner moved to obtain fees of $1,105,651.20 under CCP § 1021.5, but the trial and appellate said “no.” The reason was that vindication of contractual rights alone was not equivalent to vindication of a significant public right under 1021.5.
Cooter v. Angeles National Golf Club, Case No. B245137 (2d Dist., Div. 7 Sept. 29, 2015) (Unpublished)—Civil Rights/Costs.
Here, the appellate court reversed an order denying in part a FEHA losing plaintiff’s motion to strike certain routine costs incurred after a CCP § 998 offer. In doing so, the appellate court determined that the expert fees awarded under 998 were proper because they do not have to survive the frivolous/unreasonable standard. (Holman v. Altana Pharma U.S., Inc., 186 Cal.App.4th 262, 282 (2010).) However, the award of other routine costs had to be reexamined to see if the action was frivolous/unreasonable/without basis after the state supreme court’s ruling in Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire Dist., 61 Cal.4th 97 (2015).
Gray1CPB, LLC v. Gulfstream Finance, Case No. G047966 (4th Dist., Div. 3 Sept. 29, 2015) (Unpublished) (Moore, J.)—Discovery Sanctions.
Last but not least, the court of appeal affirmed more than $159,000 in monetary sanctions against a party for discovery abuse, based on 30 reports from a discovery referee, but reversed as to another party not given adequate due process notice of the sanctions until a too-late point in one discovery referee proceeding.