Hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from a private AG suit are back up in the air for Santa Monica’s Strumwasser & Woocher, because the trial judge didn’t give enough of a detailed explanation on the record to satisfy the First District Court of Appeal.
Some time in recent months, Strumwasser & Woocher got just over $875,000 (it had asked for a little more than $1 million) for its work in an election-machine challenge brought by the pot-loving Americans for Safe Access and a few voters. Much of it was thanks to a 2.0 multiplier that the First District found was too vaguely explained by the trial court judge (not named in the opinion specifically, but it appears from the appellate docket to have been Judge Winifred Smith).
The appeal court approved other parts of the fees but said “back to the drawing board” on the multiplier. Strumwasser, of course, represented one side in the appeal; Remcho, Johansen & Purcell argued for Alameda County.
And for those who care about the nitty gritty, this opinion (.pdf) actually came out back in May, but was just partially published this week following requests by ASA and the secretary of state.
— Pam Smith