Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another win - no lawyers' fees!

Yesterday we received a ruling from the Superior Court that LASD does NOT have to pay BCS's legal fees from the 2009-2010 case.  I've already written a lot about the legal fees demand from BCS, and have chronicles quite a bit of this particular part of the legal drama.  (Link to all LASD Observer posts on attorney fees).

The judge spent the better part of 10 pages thoroughly dissecting every aspect of the BCS claim for fees.  It breaks down into two major findings:

1) BCS did not "win" enough of the 2009-10 case for them to claim they were entitled to fees.  The courts highlighted that on the key issues, such as their demand for the Gardner campus, the Appellate Court rebuffed the requests.

2)  Even if BCS had won enough of the case, they did not confer a "public benefit" on others.  That is, they stood to gain a great deal more than their costs in litigation, which means they really aren't eligible for legal fees.

An honest read of the ruling will show that the District's request for fees/ sanctions over and above the sanctions already issued was denied.  The courts pointed out, in effect, that this is high stakes litigation, and we're going to incur substantial costs.  I wish it didn't have to be this way, but that issue is largely under the control of a Board where I am not a member, so we'll take it as it comes.

I won't try to add a lot here, other than to thank the court for their thorough research on the issue.  Given the judicial record in this case, and the fact that BCS has (unsuccessfully) appealed many of the recent rulings, it appears that Judge Lucas was extra careful to dot every I and cross every T.  I know how she feels.  Still, it's nice to see the courts give such careful consideration to an issue and to be affirmed in the key aspects of the outcome.  I look forward to a time when the headline on this blog will indicate that LASD and BCS are both spending all of our resources in the classroom.

Once again, I'd like to thank Ray Cardozo at Reed Smith for his expert work in this case.  Ray has been extremely diligent going through a very difficult discovery process to uncover the facts that underpinned the district's successful defense in this matter.  Ray, Adam and Paul at Reed Smith, as well as John, Dino, and the rest of the team at BWS Law- thanks a million.  (OK, thanks $1.5M!)

And of course here is the ruling