Attorney's Fees Recoverable Under Victim's Bill of Rights, but Only If Reasonably Incurred

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Attorneys fees incurred by the victim of a crime in California can be claimed under the Victims' Bill of Rights, which established the right of crime victims to receive restitution directly from the criminal. In People v. Millard, 09 CC.D.O.S. 7856 (June 23, 2009), the trial court ordered Millard to pay the victim's attorney's fees, based on a contingency fee agreement, of $366,666 incurred in pursuing a civil judgment against Millard. Initially, the trial court found the contingency fees to be "unconscionable," but nevertheless believed it was obligated to enforce the contingency fee agreement and award the entire amount in restitution.

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