This Comment examines the California Supreme Court's holding in Serrano v. Priest, ordering payment of attorneys' fees to plaintiffs who vindicate important public policies and confer benefits on the public and the development of California Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5, which codified this holding. The author further examines how Section 1021.5 has been applied over the last three years. The author analyzes the policy behind the private attorney general fee award and attempts to define "important public policy", "substantial benefits", "disproportionate burden", and "enforcements" as they are used in this section. The author further addresses several unresolved policy issues surrounding the application of section 1021.5.
The Private Attorney General in California - An Evolution of the Species,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol18/iss5/4