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Attorney Fees Award Reduction Of Award

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.