Hourly Rates Were Reasonable, And 28% Reduction Cemented The Conclusion.
In Ellis v. Mercury Ins. Co., Case No. E064749 (4th Dist., Div. 2 April 14, 2017) (unpublished), plaintiff lost a SLAPP motion and then lost an appeal of the SLAPP merits loss. The lower court then awarded the defendant insurance company $8,797.50 in attorney’s fees and costs on appeal, 72% of the requested amount. Plaintiff’s appeal was unsuccessful. The appellate court found the $210 per hour billing rate was reasonable as well as the trial court’s elimination of certain billed items not relating to the appeal. It specifically found that 16 hours to prepare for an appellate argument and respond to petitions for rehearing/California Supreme Court review was “entirely reasonable.” The affirmance also means that the defense can seek more fees for winning the SLAPP “fees on fees” issue before the 4/2 DCA.