Trial Court Abuses Its Discretion in Applying Negative Multiplier To Set Attorney Fees

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In Rogel v. Lynwood Redevelopment Agency, 2011 DJDAR 6173 (2011), the Second District California Court of Appeal concluded that the trial court abused its discretion in utilizing a negative attorney fee multiplier on behalf of a losing government entity.

The litigation arose from a plan by a city redevelopment agency to modify an existing mobile home park into townhouses. The residents of the park sued the redevelopment agency, alleging that the plan was improper as it would result in the loss of low income housing. After lengthy and contentious litigation, the parties entered into a settlement. The agreement provided that the plaintiffs would not be precluded from seeking attorney fees and that the redevelopment agency could raise its financial condition in response to plaintiff’s petition for attorney fees.

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