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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Court of Appeal Clears the Way for Estrada v. FedEx Attorney Fee Dispute

The Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday in Leonard Carder LLP v. Patten Faith & Sandford (10/12/10) --- Cal.App.4th ---, that an actual controversy exists between the two law firms that represented the employee plaintiffs in the Estrada v. FedEx litigation, in which a court found that certain FedEx drivers are employees, rather than independent contractors. The Court held that Leonard Carder can sue Patten Faith & Sandford for declaratory relief regarding the division of Estrada attorney fees. Leonard Carder brought the declaratory relief action to determine whether Patten Faith & Sandford can claim 40% of the $12 million attorney fee award (as the firms apparently agreed) or whether it is limited to $373,000 (based on the firms' lodestars). The action will return to Los Angeles Superior Court for a determination on the merits.

The decision is available here.

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