The trial court violated a class action defendant’s due process rights by awarding plaintiffs’ attorneys fees based on their time records which the court reviewed in camera and refused to let the defendant see. In a class action, the trial court entered a fee award to plaintiffs’ attorneys based on their time records which it reviewed in camera and refused to let the defendant review. The trial court said this procedure was more efficient and less costly than having the plaintiffs’ attorneys spend the time to redact their time records so they could be produced to defendant. Held, even if more efficient, the procedure violated the defendant’s due process rights. It must be shown the time records on which the court may base its fee award.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Marbley, J., sitting by designation); April 20, 2016; 2016 WL 1579705