We are proud to be recognized as lawyers’ lawyers, assisting counsel in law firm and co-counsel disputes and in attorneys’ fees litigation. Few law firms surpass our experience in fee-shifting work under state and federal civil rights statutes and under contract fees clauses. Our partners have helped resolve many fee claims as ADR neutrals, and have been retained as experts on fee matters by both plaintiffs and defendants.
Our partners have represented the plaintiff class as fees counsel in a series of major civil rights class actions in California, obtaining multi-million dollar awards for the private firms and non-profits that formed the plaintiffs’ counsel team in each case. We have also brought fees claims against the federal government under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), against state and local government agencies under federal and state disability rights statutes, and against corporate defendants under various employment, environmental, disability rights and private attorney general laws, as well as under contracts providing for attorneys’ fees awards. Finally, we have filed amicus briefs in the United States and California Supreme Courts on many of the most important attorneys’ fees cases of the day.
In addition to fee disputes, our firm has also counseled lawyers leaving law partnerships as well as law partnerships seeking to enforce rights against departing partners. As part of this work we have represented lawyers and law firms against allegations of negligence, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, liability to non-clients, infliction of emotional distress, defamation, breach of contract and RICO. Our clients have included lawyers who practice across a full range of legal disciplines.
- Public Records Act Client v. County Government: RBGG obtained a favorable settlement for a client who was entitled to attorneys’ fees arising out of its successful California Public Records Act litigation against a county government.
- Law Firm v. Law Firm: RBGG obtained a confidential settlement securing fair compensation for their client’s work after the client’s former co-counsel abandoned the case and disengaged from what was a major ongoing mass torts litigation.
- Lucas v. White: After securing monetary and injunctive relief for three female prisoners who were victims of sexual assault while incarcerated in federal prison, the court awarded RBGG and its cocounsel over $500,000 in attorneys’ fees at their full rates despite the Equal Access to Justice Act cap. See Lucas v. White, 63 F. Supp. 2d 1046 (N.D. Cal. 1999).
- Lawyer v. Lawyer: After securing dismissal of a defamation lawsuit against our lawyer client on an anti-SLAPP motion, the court awarded RBGG and its cocounsel almost $100,000 in fees. The award was upheld by the California Court of Appeal in full.
- Armstrong v. Brown: RBGG established that the Prison Litigation Reform Act’s attorney fee limitation does not limit fee awards for litigation brought under federal laws prohibiting disability discrimination. See Armstrong v. Davis, 318 F.3d 965 (9th Cir. 2003). We also secured an order finding that a rate increase for work performed by RBGG and its cocounsel on behalf of the plaintiff class was reasonable and awarding the full amount of requested fees with interest. See Armstrong v. Brown, 805 F. Supp. 2d 918 (N.D. Cal. 2011).
- Valdivia v. Brown and L.H. v. Brown: We secured a consolidated order in these cases finding that a rate increase for work performed by RBGG and its cocounsel on behalf of two plaintiff classes was reasonable under the law. See Valdivia v. Brown, 848 F. Supp. 2d 1141 (E.D. Cal. 2011).
- Gonzales v. City of Compton: As part of a settlement with the City of Compton of RBGG’s clients’ claims that the City’s at-large method of elections discriminated against Latino voters in violation of the California Voting Rights Act, RBGG also secured a highly favorable confidential attorneys’ fees award.
- Prison Legal News v. Schwarzenegger: RBGG secured substantial fee awards arising out of First Amendment litigation, which it successfully defended on appeal. See Prison Legal News v. Schwarzenegger, 561 F. Supp. 2d 1096 (N.D. Cal. 2008), and 608 F.3d 446 (9th Cir. 2010).
- Curls v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.: RBGG secured a fee award for trial counsel who prevailed on a claim of race discrimination in employment.
- Gober v. Ralphs Grocery Co.: Our firm secured a multi-million dollar fee award for trial and appellate work on behalf of lawyers representing sexual harassment plaintiffs, which was upheld on appeal. See Gober v. Ralphs Grocery Co., 137 Cal. App. 4th 204 (2006).
- Shaw v. San Joaquin County: RBGG obtained a fee award over $1 million for a plaintiffs’ attorney in a jail conditions of confinement case.
- Waul v. State Farm Insurance Company: RBGG secured a fee award in San Francisco Superior Court with a contingent risk enhancement of 50% for a successful private attorney general action regarding unlawful automobile insurance practices.
- Marques v. Bank of America: We represented trial counsel, who prevailed in a state court employment discrimination case, in securing a fee award of over $1 million.
- Greene v. Dillingham Construction Company: Our firm secured a substantial fee award for plaintiffs’ counsel in a racial harassment case. See Greene v. Dillingham Construction Co., 101 Cal. App. 4th 418 (2002).
- Nordlin v. K-Mart: We represented plaintiffs and their counsel in fees and appellate litigation after a successful sex harassment trial.
- Lopez v. Monterey County: We represented plaintiffs’ counsel in a long-running federal Voting Rights Act case. See Lopez v. Monterey County, 525 U.S. 266 (1999), and 519 U.S. 9 (1996).
- Weeks v. Baker & McKenzie: RBGG represented plaintiffs’ counsel in securing fees after a ground-breaking sexual harassment case. See Weeks v. Baker & McKenzie, 63 Cal. App. 4th 1128 (1998).
- Holland v. Roeser: We established the principle that civil rights’ counsel can be compensated after an offer of judgment for fees and costs incurred to prove a civil rights fees claim. See Holland v. Roeser, 37 F.3d 501 (9th Cir. 1994).
- Reyes v. City of Dinuba: RBGG represented plaintiffs in a successful action to enforce the federal Voting Rights Act.
- Rebney v. Wells Fargo Bank: We successfully represented classes of banking customers in two appeals, the first of which found objectors to two settlements concerning bank checking account fees lacked standing to appeal and, largely in dicta, found no fault with the settlement, and the second of which upheld the award of attorneys’ fees after the settlement. See Rebney v. Wells Fargo Bank, 200 Cal. App. 3d 1117 (1990), and 232 Cal. App. 3d 1344 (1991).
- Davis v. California Department of Corrections: We successfully secured in Contra Costa Superior Court and defended in the California Court of Appeal a multimillion-dollar fee award, including a 1.25 multiplier, under the Unruh Act.
RBGG has also authored briefs as Amicus Curiae in the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court in some of the most significant attorney fee cases of the day.
- Perdue v. Kenny A.: We submitted a friend of court brief on behalf of a nationwide group of private law firms urging the Court to continue to permit enhancements of fee awards above the “loadstar” amount in appropriate civil rights cases, which it did. See Perdue v. Kenny A., 559 U.S. 542 (2010).
- County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (Atlantic Richfield): We submitted a brief on behalf of amici law professors specializing in legal ethics in favor of allowing public entities to hire private attorneys on contingent fee bases to bring public nuisance cases. See County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (Atlantic Richfield), 50 Cal. 4th 35 (2010).
- In re Joshua S.: We submitted a brief on behalf of various amici civil rights organizations in support of the plaintiffs’ right to collect attorneys’ fees under California’s private attorney general fee statute for her successful effort to establishing the validity of second parent adoptions in which the same-sex partner of a birth mother adopted the mother’s child while the mother remained a coparent. See In re Joshua S., 42 Cal. 4th 945 (2008).
- City of Burlington v. Dague: We submitted a friend of court brief on behalf of not-for-profit legal services organizations, private law firms, and sole practitioners from throughout the United States urging the Court to permit enhancements of fee awards above the “loadstar” amount in appropriate cases pursuant to environmental fee shifting statutes. See City of Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557 (1992).