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1108.01000 – In General

The Board provided guidance for compliance proceedings to determine the proper amount of legal expenses incurred in an ancillary proceeding to remedy, lessen, or stave off the impacts of unfair practices and to restore the pre-violation status quo. The term “legal expenses,” which is synonymous with “attorney’s fee award” and “attorney’s fees and costs,” is a broad category that includes virtually any item for which a law firm customarily bills a client, including, inter alia, billable professional services (meaning attorney and law clerk services and certain “paralegal” services that may be performed by legal assistants with or without a paralegal license), as well as incidental costs such as filing fees, electronic research fees, or fees for service of process. (Ellis v. Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 853, 888; see also Missouri v. Jenkins by Agyei (1989) 491 U.S. 274, 285-287 [paralegal and law clerk time compensable at prevailing market rate]; Trustees of Const. Indus. and Laborers Health and Welfare Trust v. Redlands Ins. Co. (9th Cir. 2006) 460 F.3d 1253, 1256-1257 [support staff work compensable if those costs not already built into attorney’s hourly fees].) This definition of legal expenses is particularly appropriate in compensatory cases given that PERB precedent allows compensation even for staff who do not work in legal services in any respect. (City of Palo Alto (2019) PERB Decision No. 2664-M, p. 8, fn. 6.)