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Attorney Fees Award Reduction Of Award

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Kerkeles v. City of San Jose (2015) 243 Cal.App.4th 88
Plaintiff settled his civil rights case against the City of San Jose literally the day before trial for $150,000, and the plaintiff’s attorneys made an application for attorney fees in excess of $1 million. The trial court reduced the fee award, without explanation, to $400,000.
Held: Reversed. Attorneys correctly calculated their fee using the lodestar method. This was the presumptively correct fee and if the court wanted to reduce it by more than 10%, then the court was required to have given a detailed explanation.