Long-Time Class Action Battle May Be Ended, Appropriately On Fee Issues.
In a long-running class action dispute which the appellate court characterized as rivaling Jarndyce and Jarndyce (Dickens’ Bleak House case which ran on for years and drained most litigants’ resources), the 2/5 DCA likely put an end to class action litigation in Woosley v. State of California, Case No. B275402 (2d Dist., Div. 5 Nov. 3, 2017) (unpublished).
What happened here is that the trial judge awarded class counsel substantial “fees on fees” for various fee applications during the course of the litigation. Although some reductions were made on general reasonableness grounds, the lower court did not reduce the “fees on fees” applications for lack of success, although it was considered. The appellate court affirmed the failure to reduce for lack of success. Recognizing there are significant differences between litigation on the merits and litigation on fee entitlement, it was no abuse of discretion to not credit lack of success on the “fees on fees” issues under consideration based on the circumstances of record.