On January 28, 2010, I posted a quick note about an Opinion in Pellegrino v. Robert Half International, Inc. (G039985). See post here. But, in the last two days, the Pellegrino matter has generated one additional Opinion and a modification of the earlier Opinion. The first opinion, Pellegrino v. Robert Half International, Inc. (February 24, 2010) (G040762), was previously unpublished. The now-published Opinion concerns an award of attorneys' fees:
RHI challenges the trial court's attorney fees award on the grounds the court (1) failed to sufficiently discount a portion of plaintiffs' attorney fees to account for the trial on the unfair competition claims for which no attorney fees were available; (2) should not have applied any multiplier to the lodestar figure in determining the attorney fees award, much less a multiplier as high as 1.75; and (3) improperly awarded an enhancement for “fees on fees.”
We affirm in part and reverse in part. The trial court did not err by reducing the lodestar amount by no more than 15 percent to reflect the parties' litigation of the unfair competition claims, because the legal and factual issues presented in those claims were interrelated with those issues presented by plaintiffs' wage and hour claims (for which attorney fees are available). The record supports the trial court's application of a 1.75 multiplier to the reduced lodestar amount for attorney fees generated up until plaintiffs brought their motion for attorney fees, based on the factors set forth in Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122 (Ketchum). The record does not support, however, the application of a 1.75 multiplier to fees incurred in bringing the motion for attorney fees. We therefore reverse the amended judgment to the extent it applies a multiplier to fees incurred in bringing the attorney fees motion and remand to the trial court to recalculate the attorney fees award accordingly. We otherwise affirm the amended judgment.
Slip op., at 2-3.
The modification opinion, Pellegrino v. Robert Half International, Inc. (February 25, 2010) (G039985) concerned RHI's contention that its petition for rehearing should have been granted pursuant to Government Code section 68081 because the Court's decision was based on issues not briefed or proposed by any party. The Court of Appeal disagreed. Stridently.