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  • Monday, May 07, 2007

     

    Orange Unified gets $37,000 in Rocco Lawsuit Fees

    SPECIAL REPORT
    A community service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Orange Unified wins “reasonable attorney’s fees” in Rocco Censure Case

    Orange Unified Superintendent Thomas Godley released a press release reporting that Orange County Superior Court Judge Clay Smith granted Orange Unified $37,000 in attorney fees last week from the Rocco Censure Resolution lawsuit. The Godley’s press release however failed to note that Judge Clay rebuffed OUSD’s request for more money because he ruled parts of the OUSD legal billing request was not reasonable.

    In his ruling Clay ruled that OUSD was entitled to “reasonable fees incurred” in regards to the California Aware case filed on behalf of OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco over the OUSD Rocco Censure Resolution. Judge Clay also ruled that while the hourly rate of OUSD Attorney Spencer Covert seemed reasonable “the amount of time, however appears to include (i) time spent on matters other than the motion”. Judge Clay gave an example of those “matters other than the motion” as “(e.g. review of the complaint, status report and status memo) and (ii) excessive hours spent on multiple layers of editing and analysis” . Judge Clay also denied OUSD billings Clay stated fell under CCP 1033.5(c)(5). Those include internet research, copies, postage and reporters transcripts.

    Judge Clay ruled that the “reasonable fees” for OUSD was a billing of $37,000. Judge Clay’s ruling follows:

    Respondents’ motion for attorney’s fees and costs:
    Petitioners’ request for judicial notice is granted.
    Respondents are entitled to recover reasonable fees incurred in connection with the motion. The hourly rate requested is clearly reasonable. The amount of time, however, appears to include (i) time spent on matters other than the motion (e.g. review of the complaint, status report, status memo) and (ii) excessive hours spent on multiple layers of editing and analysis. In short, the Court finds that Respondents are entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees in the amount of $37,000.
    Respondents’ request for costs includes items not recoverable under CCP 1033.5(c)(5), including Lexis research, copies, postage, and reporter’s transcript. Accordingly, the request for costs is denied.
    Respondents’ request for a stay pending appeal without bond is denied.

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