Judicial Economy Implications: Ninth Circuit Sends District Judges Back To School On Calculation Of Attorney Fee Awards


My partner, Gary Bresee, recently blogged on the recent Ninth Circuit decision in Padgett v. Loventhal, 2013 DAR 1933 (2013). 

As Gary noted, in that case, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overruled the decision of trial judge James Ware, and remanded the case for further consideration. Judge Ware made significant reductions in the fees requested by the plaintiffs in a civil rights case without detailed explanation or computation of the reasons for reducing the attorney fee claim. The panel was critical of the reduction as the district judge slashed the fees and costs without any detailed description or supporting calculations for the reductions ordered.

The Ninth Circuit reversed the decision of the trial judge, noting that district courts must give reasons for declining to award costs and for reducing costs based on a partial victory. 

Another key take away issue from the Ninth Circuit’s decision relates to public policy considerations relating to judicial economy. Judge Ware recently retired. Now a new judge will have to be assigned to the case to clarify the award and the basis therefore. A properly documented decision would have alleviated these additional burdens and costs.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP on:

JD Supra Readers' Choice 2016 Awards
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.