Discounted Rates of $150-260 in Riverside Were Just Fine.
Defendant promising to sell certain property to a plaintiff governmental entity for $8.42 million, with some environmental contamination holdback provisions, lost a specific performance suit in Riverside County Transportation Commission v. Liston Brick Co. of Corona, Case No. E054980 (4th Dist., Div. 2 Apr. 21, 2014) (unpublished). Also, defendant was hit with contractual attorney’s fees of either $335,660.90 or $355,660.90 (the opinion is unclear), the full request of the winning plaintiff.
Brick samples. D’Hanis Brick Works, TX. Library of Congress.
The defense appeal of the fee award was not successful.
Defendant challenged awarding almost $97,000 in requested fees for administrative/regulatory activities and for a right to entry petition to enter the property for purposes of undertaking environmental due diligence. The appellate court found that these were justifiable collateral activities closely related and useful in the pending action. (Children’s Hosp. & Med. Center v. Bonta, 97 Cal.App.4th 740, 779-780 (2002).) The amount of fees requested was reasonable, given that the supporting declaration indicated hourly rates ranged from $150 for summer associates to $260 for partners in a Riverside firm—up to 45% discounts in many published hourly rates.