569 East County Boulevard LLC v. Backcountry Against The Dump, Inc.

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding $30,000 in attorney fees to a defendant that had sought $152,000 for bringing a successful Anti-SLAPP motion, since there was substantial evidence to support reduction of the claimed hourly rate and claimed hours.  The trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding only $30,000 in attorney fees to a defendant that had sought $152,000 in attorney fees for bringing a successful Anti-SLAPP motion to strike the single cause of action alleged against it.  Abuse of discretion was the proper standard of review since the trial court had recognized and applied proper legal criteria in making its award.  There was substantial evidence to support its reduction of the claimed hourly rate, particularly as an experienced counsel for a co-defendant which had succeeded on a much tougher Anti-SLAPP motion in the same case charged only the hourly rate that the trial court chose.  The trial court also did not abuse its discretion in slashing hours due to vague descriptions of time spent, block billing, billing for time unrelated to the Anti-SLAPP motion and excessive time for a relatively simple motion.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1 (Irion, J.); December 5, 2016 (on rehearing); 2016 WL 7048007

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