California Court of Appeal

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Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. County of San Bernardino, D056972

In an environmental group's suit challenging county's approval of certain residential development, trial court's order of fees and dismissal of plaintiff's motion for supplemental fees for lack of jurisdiction are reversed and remanded where: 1) a motion for supplemental fees based on greater success on appeal does not challenge the original fee order and poses no jurisdictional impediment; 2) trial court abused its discretion with regard to the amount of the award of attorney fees for appellate work as where unrefuted evidence shows that qualified local counsel is unavailable, it is error to base the allowable lodestar hourly rate on local rates without regard to reasonable hourly rates charged by competent counsel outside the local legal market; and 3) where the record affirmatively shows that the court reduced the number of allowable hours by more than half without taking into account fundamental differences between trial and appellate work, remand is necessary.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 09/17/2010
  • Published 09/17/2010

Judges

  • MCCONNELL

Court

  • California Court of Appeal

Counsel

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