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NALFA Requests Publication of Worley Decision in Appellate Court

January 7, 2010 | Posted in : Billing Practices, Fee Award, Fee Award Factors, Fee Issues on Appeal, Fee Jurisprudence, Fee Reduction, Lodestar, NALFA News


The central holding in Worley v. Storage USA, Inc, et al. is that the trial court was required to calculate reasonable attorney fees using the lodestar approach, given that no common fund was created in the underlying class action. NALFA has requested the publication of this decision in a California Appellate Court. In an amicus letter to the California Court of Appeal, NALFA panelist Aashih Y. Desai of Mower, Carreon & Desai, LLP in Irvine, California, writes, "It is especially worthy of publication because the Court engaged in a meaningful analysis of the factors used to determine a "reasonable fee" under the lodestar methodology."

Desai continues, "If published, this would be one of the first cases to analyze when trial courts should utilize the lodestar approach, as opposed to the common fund analysis, to determine contested fees in the class action context." "In Worley, this Court thoroughly examined the trial court's deductions for "overlitigating" the case but faulted the court for not quantifying the specific instances of excess work. Worley correctly announces that trial courts may not simply toss out the lodestar method altogether whenever they feel it would be unjust."