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Attorney Fees

August 19, 2012 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: My homeowners association has contracted with the same attorney firm on retainer for more than 25 years. The attorney also receives 40% of any money collected from dues and fines, and the association is demanding more in settlements to recoup its attorney expenses. In response to questions of this practice at a board meeting, the president said that "we have no choice in this economy due to the high number of delinquencies but to use the attorney's services, and all HOAs are doing this now. " Many of my longtime neighbors are walking away from their homes because they can't meet these higher re-payment demands by the board.
June 21, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Some consumers might be in for a surprise if they take their banks to court over checking or credit card disputes: A provision in account agreements says even if you win, you lose. Checking account disclosures at four large banks and one large credit union make the customer liable for the bank's losses, costs or expenses - including attorney fees - from any dispute over the account, regardless of who wins. "If you win the lawsuit, you shouldn't have to pay the other side's costs and fees.
May 4, 2012
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas has spent three years defending an indefensible tactic that denies individuals the right to due process before they are named in a gang injunction. A federal judge has ruled it unconstitutional, but Rackauckas has now appealed that decision. He should abandon this costly and misguided legal battle that is little more than an attempt to bend the rules. Injunctions are powerful tools that can help law enforcement combat gangs. The theory is that by placing restrictions on the conduct of gang members - such as imposing curfews on them or limiting where they can congregate - the injunction will undercut a gang's ability to control the streets and commit crimes.
April 14, 2012 | By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
A jury awarded $6 million this week to a man who said Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies forced him from his car after a routine traffic stop, beat him, kneed him in the face and broke his eye socket. The jury's award comes after the district attorney dismissed criminal charges against Deon Dirks, 33, for allegedly assaulting the deputies. Dirks, a school bus driver from South Los Angeles, had just left an auto parts store in Compton in November 2007 when he was pulled over for speeding.
February 14, 2012 | By Andrea Chang
Facebook Inc. was awarded $75,776 in legal fees from a New York man who claims he's entitled to half of Mark Zuckerberg's multibillion-dollar stake in the social network. In a decision Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio in Buffalo, N.Y., ordered Paul Ceglia to pay the fees after ruling that he violated a pretrial discovery order and failed to turn over email account information. The fee comes on top of an earlier $5,000 fine by the judge. Last month, Foschio said Ceglia must reimburse Facebook for legal fees it incurred in trying to get him to comply with a court order in the partnership dispute.
September 14, 2011 | By Bill Shaikin
Frank and Jamie McCourt expect to settle their divorce — and with it the question of who owns the Dodgers — in a trial during the 2012 baseball season. The trial is expected to start next spring or summer and last 30 to 45 days, a timetable set forth by attorneys on both sides after a hearing Wednesday at Los Angeles Superior Court. Frank McCourt claims sole ownership of the Dodgers and ex-wife Jamie claims half-ownership. It is unclear when the Dodgers will emerge from federal bankruptcy protection.
August 5, 2011 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
A federal judge ordered toy giant Mattel Inc. to pay bitter rival MGA Entertainment Inc. more than $309 million in damages, fees and other costs in the long-running dispute over the billion-dollar Bratz doll line and rejected Mattel's bid for a new trial. Isaac Larian, the outspoken chief executive of Van Nuys-based MGA, said he was thrilled by the decision by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, which he called a "step in the right direction. " "I feel vindicated and I'm very excited," he said in an interview.
July 22, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has asked a court not to award spousal support to Maria Shriver, his wife of 25 years, according to papers filed this week. Schwarzenegger's form response to Shriver's divorce petition, dated Wednesday, contained little indication of how the former first couple's split would play out other than his request that no spousal support be awarded. He also asked that attorney fees and legal costs be jointly paid. Shriver, whose petition came weeks after her husband publicly acknowledged fathering a child with a longtime household staffer, had asked for support in her court filing.
January 16, 2011 | By Stephen Glassman and Donie Vanitzian
Question: I'm an owner and board director for my homeowners association of less than 25 units. For four years our association has been fighting ? to the tune of thousands of dollars per month in attorney fees ? over ongoing nonsense. Although it's wise to have association documents kept up to date, I didn't intend to spend four years of my life copying documents and meeting with lawyers. I believe that small associations like ours should be able to opt out of complying with California's Davis-Stirling Act. The legislature just seems to keep making these laws more complicated, time-consuming and expensive to comply with.
October 17, 2010 | By Stephen Glassman and Donie Vanitzian
Question: I own one of the more than 130 units in my cooperative, which was recently sued in a personal injury suit. We won the case, but the court awarded only a little more than $4,000 of the more than $20,000 legal bill to our cooperative's association. I heard through the grapevine that the board is not telling owners these facts and is instead just going ahead and paying the bill. Can the board unilaterally do that or does it have an obligation to inform homeowners that we will be paying this?
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