Some Local Media Buzz Aroused By This Bill.
Our Mission Statement on this blog starts this way: “As one appellate jurist wisely observed, ‘All too often attorney fees become the tail that wags the dog in litigation.’ Deane Gardenhome Assn. v. Dentkas, 13 Cal.App.4th 1394, 1399 (1993).” Although this observation occurred in an HOA – homeowner fee battle, it equally applies to the legal bills which may be generated in even minor disputes.
As reported in the Sunday, January 7, 2018 The Orange County Register, local community activist Mike Glenn filed a small claims suit alleging that Newport Beach Councilwoman Diane Dixon defamed him when she said at an April 19, 2017 City Council meeting that he owed the City more than $619.33 in records request fees. City clerk appeared at the proceeding on half of the defendants, in consultation with a prominent local Orange County law firm. The superior court judge ruled that no money was owed by anyone, but found no slander given that the councilwoman was acting in a protected legislative capacity. After the court result, the City was billed $17,944 by the consulting law firm, a bill which did generate some media buzz given the activist said he wanted a simple apology while the defendants argued they had to vindicate First Amendment rights.