On 02/23/2016 ALI TAVANA filed a Contract - Professional Negligence lawsuit against THE COCHRAN FIRM. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is ELIZABETH R. FEFFER. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
ELIZABETH R. FEFFER
MANCINI & ASSOCIATES
LAW OFFICES OF HARRY SADEGHI & ASSOCIATES
DOES 1 THROUGH 100
COCHRAN FIRM THE
THE COCHRAN FIRM
JOSEPH J.M. LANGE LAW CORPORATION
LANGE JOSEPH J.M.
DUNN BRIAN T. ESQ.
DUNN BRIAN THOMAS
12/27/2017: PLAINTIFF'S APPENDIX OF EXHIBITS IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
12/27/2017: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
1/5/2018: DEFENDANTS' REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION RE: DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES
1/8/2018: DECLARATION OF ROBERT TORRES IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' THE COCHRAN FIRM'S AND ROBERT TORRES' NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, ETC
1/10/2019: Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
2/13/2019: Trial Brief
2/23/2016: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR LEGAL MALPRACTICE DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
4/12/2016: PROOF OF SERVICE BY MAIL
5/6/2016: NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING
5/16/2016: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER
5/25/2016: NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES
8/23/2016: Minute Order
10/27/2017: DEFENDANTS' REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES
10/30/2017: DECLARATION OF BRIAN T. DUNN IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' THE COCHRAN FIRM'S AND ROBERT TORRES' NOTICE OF MOTION AND ETC
10/30/2017: DEFENDANTS' SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS AND EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES
10/30/2017: Proof of Service
at 09:30 AM in Department 56; Status Conference - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Status Conference)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
at 09:30 AM in Department 56; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Court's MotionRead MoreRead Less
at 09:00 AM in Department 56; Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Jury Trial; Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC)) of 03/04/2019); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Jury Trial; Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC))); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Brief (Defendant The Cochran Firm's Further Briefing Re: Comparative Fault); Filed by The Cochran Firm (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Opposition (PLAINTIFF?S SUPPLEMENTAL OPPOSITION TO COCHRAN FIRM?S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 2 OF 3 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF PLAINTIFF?S LOST EARNINGS FOLLOWING HIS NOVEMBER 23, 2013 VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT FROM COUNTY EMPLOYMENT); Filed by Ali Tavana (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Trial Brief (PLAINTIFF?S TRIAL BRIEF RE COMPARATIVE FAULT); Filed by Ali Tavana (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Opposition (PLAINTIFF?S OPPOSITION TO TORRES MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF OCCURRENCES OF ALLEGEDLY DICRIMINATORY ACTS ABOUT WHICH PLAINTIFF FAILED TO EXHAUST ADMINSTRATIVE REMEDIES); Filed by Ali Tavana (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Challenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER (CODE CIV. PROC., 170.6)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARINGRead MoreRead Less
OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Summons; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR LEGAL MALPRACTICE DEMAND FOR JURY TRIALRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Ali Tavana (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC611304 Hearing Date: July 21, 2020 Dept: 56
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT
THE COCHRAN FIRM, et al.,
CASE NO.: BC611304
[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION STRIKE OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO TAX COSTS
Date: July 21, 2020
Time: 8:30 a.m.
MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Ali Tavana
RESPONDING PARTY: Defendant The Cochran Firm (“TCF”)
The Court has considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.
Plaintiff’s complaint arises from alleged legal malpractice. Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendants alleging a single cause of action for legal malpractice.
On December 31, 2019, the Court issued a statement of decision which indicated that: (1) the Court presided over a bench trial in connection with this matter; (2) this action arises from Defendants’ alleged legal professional negligence in representing Plaintiff in an underlying employment action against the County of Los Angeles; (3) judgment shall be prepared against Plaintiff and in favor of Defendants and each of them; and (4) Defendants are the prevailing parties and they may submit a Bill of Costs.
On January 15, 2020, TCF filed and served a memorandum of costs requesting costs for: (1) filing and motion fees in the amount of $1,295.00; (2) court reporter fees as established by statute in the amount of $4,154.55; and (3) models, enlargements, and photocopies of exhibits in the amount of $1,627.56. In sum, pursuant to their memorandum of costs, TCF seeks $7,077.11 in costs.
Plaintiff filed a motion to strike or, in the alternative, tax costs on the grounds that many of the claimed costs are specifically excluded and/or precluded by California Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 1033.5(b) and (c). Specifically, Plaintiff seeks to strike the following $2,203.61 in claimed costs: (1) filing and motion fees in the amount of $860.00; and (2) models, enlargements, and photocopies of exhibits in the amount of $1,343.61.
Plaintiff contends that: (1) TCF has improperly sought to recover $1,343.61 for copying charges that are expressly prohibited; and (2) TCF has improperly sought to recover costs of $860.00 for filing fees associated with motions it either lost or resulted from its dilatory tactics.
A prevailing party “includes the party with a net monetary recovery . . . [or] a defendant in whose favor a dismissal is entered.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 1032(a)(4).) “Except as otherwise provided by statute, a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 1032(b).) “Under the common law rule, parties to litigation must bear their own costs. The right to recover any of such costs is determined entirely by statute.” (Gorman v. Tassajara Development Corp. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 44, 71.) “In ruling upon a motion to tax costs, the trial court’s first determination is whether the statute expressly allows the particular item and whether it appears proper on its face. If so, the burden is on the objecting party to show [the costs] to be unnecessary or unreasonable.” (Id.) “Where costs are not expressly allowed by the statute, the burden is on the party claiming the costs to show that the charges were reasonable and necessary.” (Id.)
“Whether a costs item was reasonably necessary to the litigation presents a question of fact for the trial court.” (Id.) “[T]he items on a verified cost bill are prima facie evidence the costs, expenses and services listed were necessarily incurred.” (Hadley v. Krepel (1985) 167 Cal.App.3d 677, 682.) “There is no requirement that copies of bills, invoices, statements, or any other such documents be attached to the memorandum. Only if the costs have been put in issue via a motion to tax costs must supporting documentation be submitted.” (Jones v. Dumrichob (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 1258, 1267.) Once a party shows that an expense or cost was necessarily incurred “the burden is upon the moving party to establish the illegality of the challenged items; otherwise the amount demanded in the verified cost bill is controlling.” (Wilson v. Nichols (1942) 55 Cal.App.2d 678, 682-683.) “[T]he losing party has the burden to present evidence and prove that the claimed costs are not recoverable.” (Seever v. Copley Press, Inc. (2006) 141 Cal.App.4th 1550, 1557.) “[Nevertheless], because the right to costs is governed strictly by statute . . . a court has no discretion to award costs not statutorily authorized.” (Ladas v. California State Auto. Assn. (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 761, 774.) California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1033.5(c)(4) gives a court discretion to allow or deny a claimed cost where it is not explicitly allowed or prohibited by Section 1033.5. “In law and motion practice, factual evidence is supplied to the court by way of declarations.” (Calcor Space Facility, Inc. v. Superior Court (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 216, 224.)
Filing and Motion Fees
Plaintiff seeks to strike $860.00 from TCF’s claimed costs for filing and motion fees. TCF has submitted a verified memorandum of costs and, as such, TCF has presented prima facie evidence that the costs were necessarily incurred. Filing and motion fees are recoverable as costs. (Code Civ. Proc. § 1033.5(a)(1).)
According to the declaration of Joseph J.M. Lange (“Lange”): (1) he is counsel of record for Plaintiff (Lange Decl. at ¶ 1); and (2) attached as Exhibit 1 is a true and correct copy of the memorandum of costs that TCF filed. (Id. at ¶ 2 and Exhibit 1.) Plaintiff presents no evidence that the $860.00 in filing and motion fees was unnecessary or unreasonable.
Therefore, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s request to tax $860.00 of TCF’s costs with respect to filing and motion fees.
Models, Enlargements, and Photocopies of Exhibits
Plaintiff seeks to strike $1,343.61 in costs for models, enlargements, and photocopies of exhibits pursuant to Item 12 in TCF’s memorandum of costs. According to Attachment 11, which is attached to TCF’s memorandum of costs, the $1,343.61 that Plaintiff seeks to tax is for trial exhibits in the form of photocopies of deposition testimony.
Under California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1033.5(a)(13) “[m]odels, the enlargements of exhibits and photocopies of exhibits, and the electronic presentation of exhibits, including costs of rental equipment and electronic formatting may be allowed if they were reasonably helpful to aid the trier of fact.” California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1033.5(b)(3) says that “[p]ostage, telephone, and photocopying charges, except for exhibits” are not allowable as costs except when they are expressly authorized by law.
A review of the memorandum of costs worksheet indicates that TCF is seeking a total of $1,627.56 for models, enlargements, and photocopies of exhibits. (Memorandum of Costs at ¶ 11.) According the declaration of Brian T. Dunn (“Dunn”), who served as lead trial counsel for TCF: (1) the $1,343.61 in photocopying costs requested by TCF in its costs memo filed on January 15, 2020, in this action, relates to fees for copying deposition transcripts of Plaintiff (Dunn Decl. at ¶ 2); (2) although the aforementioned transcripts were not specifically contained within the parties’ joint trial exhibit list, however, copies of the same were necessary in preparation of trial and throughout the course of trial for the anticipated purpose of impeaching Plaintiff’s credibility upon cross-examination (Id.); and (3) the Court’s Statement of Decision (“SOD”) entered on December 21, 2019, makes a substantial number of findings that Plaintiff was not credible. (Id. at ¶ 3 and Exhibit A.)
Photocopies of exhibits are allowed as costs pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1033.5(a)(13). California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1033.5(b)(3) is also not applicable to the costs for photocopying of exhibits because that section allows photocopying charges for exhibits.
TCF has submitted a verified memorandum of costs and, as such, TCF has presented prima facie evidence that the costs were necessarily incurred. The Court incorporates its recitation of Lange from above and applies it to the Court’s discussion of striking the costs for photocopies. Plaintiff presents no evidence that the $1,343.61 in costs for models, enlargements, and photocopies of exhibits pursuant to Item 12 in TCF’s memorandum of costs was unnecessary or unreasonable.
Therefore, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s request to tax $1,343.61 of TCF’s costs with respect to models, enlargements, and photocopies of exhibits.
Plaintiff’s motion to strike or, in the alternative, tax costs is DENIED in its entirety.
Moving party is ordered to give notice of this ruling.
In consideration of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Court strongly encourages that appearances on all proceedings, including this one, be made by CourtCall if the parties do not submit on the tentative. If you instead intend to make an appearance in person at Court on this matter, you must send an email by 2 p.m. on the last Court day before the scheduled date of the hearing to SMC_DEPT56@lacourt.org
Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMC_DEPT56@lacourt.org as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If the department does not receive an email and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion will be placed off calendar.
Dated this 21st day of July 2020
Hon. Holly J. Fujie
Judge of the Superior Court
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