Loser Below Cannot Be 1021.5 Successful Party.
Prospector blowing on pan of fine dirt which contains particles of gold. Russell Lee, photographer. 1940. Library of Congress.
This is what we would call a chutzpah appeal. A business purchasing gold from individuals protested County of Department of Weight and Measures’ claims that the business had to have County-certified scales, losing at the administrative level and in failing to convince a lower court to do otherwise in a mandamus writ proceeding. However, on appeal, losing business—also losing the appeal on the merits—argued it was entitled to fees for appellate efforts in vindicating public interests under CCP § 1021.5. The appellate court, in East Valley Pawn v. San Bernardino County Dept. of Agriculture Weights and Measures, Case No. E056243 (4th Dist., Div. 2 Apr. 28, 2014) (unpublished) had no problem rejecting this argument because, after all, appealing litigant was not successful—with success being a premise to a 1021.5 fee award.