December 2013

And The Beat Goes On . . .

December 6, 2013, by Meyers Nave

The Associated Press is reporting that the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) filed suit against the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) alleging Freedom of Information Act violations, claiming the agency collaborated with the financial industry (banks) to block cities from using eminent domain to prevent foreclosures.   The ACLU and other groups requested information regarding and supporting FHFA’s decision to oppose the City of Richmond’s plan to seize land through eminent domain in order to prevent foreclosures.   The suit seeks an order directing the FHFA to turn over all documents related to communications and meetings with financial industry groups and banks,  including those relating to Richmond’s offer to buy underwater mortgages from residents.

Ninth Circuit Upholds Plaintiff Attorneys’ Fee Award Over 25 Times the Jury Award in Discrimination Case

December 11, 2013, by Meyers Nave

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding the prevailing plaintiff $697,971.80 in attorneys’ fees where the jury awarded her only $27,280 in damages.  The clear message from the decision is that even relatively modest legal transgressions under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) can result in a significant damage award against an employer.

Third Time Is The Charm: CalPERS May Appeal City Of San Bernardino’s Bankruptcy Eligibility To Ninth Circuit

December 17, 2013, by Anya J. Freedman

A federal judge has ruled that CalPERS may appeal to the Ninth Circuit a bankruptcy judge’s decision allowing the City of San Bernardino’s petition for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  As we previously reported here, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury ruled in August that San Bernardino is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.