Reimbursement Of Certain Expenses For Out-Of-State Counsel Can Be Entertained If Reasonably Necessary To The Litigation.
Legendary Investors Group No. 1 f. Niemann, Case Nos. B281915 et al. (2d Dist., Div. 4 Oct. 9, 2018) (unpublished) was a situation in which the trial judge denied out-of-state (Texas) counsel’s costs for travel to deposition and trial/other proceedings (to the tune of over $74,000) in a Los Angeles action under the apparent perspective that these categorical costs were impermissible under the routine costs statute.
Wrong, said the Court of Appeal, leading to a reversal and a remand. Code of Civil Procedure section 1033.5, subdivision (a)(3) does not limit reimbursement for deposition travel to travel by attorneys practicing in the court’s jurisdiction. (See, e.g., Thon v. Thompson, 29 Cal.App.4th 1546, 1548 (1994); Chaaban v. Wet Seal, Inc., 203 Cal.App.4th 49, 59–60 (2012) [travel by California lawyers to out-of-state depositions]; Howard v. American National Fire Ins. Co., 187 Cal.App.4th 498, 541 (2010) [allowed meal expenses by out-of-state attorneys who traveled to depositions]; Seever v. Copley Press, Inc., 141 Cal.App.4th 1550, 1560 (2006) [mileage expenses for San Diego attorneys driving to depositions in Los Angeles].) The same result attended to other expenses as long as they were reasonable and necessary to the litigation. So, the matter got remanded, although the appellate court put no strictures on how the trial judge should rule.