Appellate

In 2020, the California courts of appeal published several cases with useful guidance for litigators claiming or opposing statutory attorney’s fees. In Department of Fair Employment & Hous. v. Cathy’s Creations, Inc. (2020) 54 Cal.App.5th 404, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued a bakery that denied services to a same-sex couple, but lost its suit for injunctive relief. The court held that the prevailing defendant was not entitled to attorney’s fees under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5 because Government Code section 12974, a unilateral fee-shifting statute that provides fees to DFEH only, is the later…
The Ninth Circuit on Thursday ordered that it will rehear en banc a challenge to California’s ban on possession of large-capacity magazines. Last August a divided three-judge panel of the court held that the ban violates the Second Amendment. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who petitioned the court for the en banc rehearing, praised the order in a statement, calling it “the next step in the defense of our state’s commonsense gun laws.” “Large-capacity magazines have been used in many horrific mass shootings around the country, including right here in California,” Becerra said. Able to hold more than 10 rounds…
Dissenting from a Friday decision, a Ninth Circuit judge asked the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify whether and in what circumstances federal appellate courts can take up an interlocutory appeal when the district court denies a summary judgment motion based on qualified immunity. “Johnson strikes again,” Judge William Fletcher wrote, referring to the high court’s decision in Johnson v. Jones (1995) 515 U.S. 304, and going on to call the law in this area “extraordinarily confused.” The case here arises from the 2012 shooting of Wayne Steven Anderson by California Highway Patrol Officer John Marsh in the Fresno area.…