Case Concerns Trial Court Authority To Award Fees/Costs To Appointed Attorneys For Proposed Conservatees.
This next case, Conservatorship v. Hilton, Case No. B267076 (2d Dist., Div. 2 Feb. 7, 2017) (unpublished), likely is of interest to probate/conservatorship attorneys.
The Los Angeles County Superior court has a program to appoint experienced probate attorneys to represent proposed conservatees, which attorneys are on known as Probate Volunteer Panel Attorneys (PVP). Probate Code section 1472(a) gives the lower court authority to award fees and costs to such appointed attorneys, given that under LASC Local Rules, rule 4.127(b)(2), such attorneys agree to request compensation at
"below market" hourly rates—which in this case happened to be $250 per hour. The lower court awarded $7,148.93 in fees and costs to the PVP appointed to represent the conservatee.
Conservatee objected, but the challenge was rejected on appeal. Conservatee, in pro per, did not develop an adequate record—inclusive of objections to the requested fees/costs—such that affirmance was required under settled appellate principles.