Court of Appeal Publishes Case Clarifying “Catalyst Theory” Attorney Fees

July 7th, 2015

By: Chris Butcher



On July 6, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ordered publication of Coalition for a Sustainable Yucaipa v. City of Yucaipa (July 6, 2015, E057589) __Cal.App.4th__.   The court upheld the trial court’s ruling denying attorney’s fees to the Coalition for a Sustainable Yucaipa (Coalition) after the City of Yucaipa (City) rescinded project approvals for reasons unrelated to the litigation.   The court held the Coalition was not a prevailing party under the “catalyst theory” because the Coalition failed to show that they were a substantial factor in the City’s decision to revoke the entitlements.

Key Point

Plaintiffs who claim they are a prevailing party eligible to recover under the “catalyst theory” bear the burden of showing they were a substantial factor in the decision that rendered the litigation moot.

Read Thomas Law Group’s original blog on the case at:

https://thomaslaw455.wpengine.com/court-of-appeal-denies-attorneys-fees-motion-in-ceqa-litigation-after-contract-dispute-resulted-in-revocation-of-project-approvals/