Appealing Parties Saved $31 Million in Funds Being Transferred, With Whitley and Maywood Providing Cost/Benefit Analytical Compass.
Children and Families Comm’n of Fresno County v. Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Case No. F066233 (5th Dist. July 22, 2014) (published) was a situation where the lower court denied attorney’s fees under CCP § 1021.5 to several commissions after the trial judge found AB 99 conflicted with Proposition 10’s prohibition in using tobacco settlement trust funds in a certain way relating to prenatal children care. The proof showed that the commissions, who requested a total of nearly $700,000 in fees (with the appealing parties requesting $382,382.50), had prevented $31 million in trust fund from being transferred if AB 99 had not been invalidated. Because the public entity’s pecuniary loss and the pecuniary interests of its constituents are factored in under Whitley, the record of costs versus benefits led to the appellate court ruling that no discretion was abused by denying fees in this one. (See City of Maywood v. L.A. Unified School Dist., 208 Cal.App.4th 432 (2012).)