Villarreal v. GordonAnnotate this Case
After prevailing on a petition for writ of mandate, petitioner filed a motion for attorney fees under the private attorney general doctrine. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's denial of attorney fees. The court agreed with the trial court that petitioner failed to establish that the benefit the writ petition achieved was conferred on a sufficiently large enough class of persons to justify an attorney fee award under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5.
The court explained that the most significant benefit here inured specifically to individual drivers with non-qualifying out-of-state drunk driving convictions, and that benefit and the extent to which that benefit balances against the public benefit from an interest in public safety in the form of California's participation in the Compact are both "pertinent circumstances" the trial court was required to consider.