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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/11/2021 at 04:54:50 (UTC).

SHARON DIETZ ET AL VS MOHAMMED AHSAN ET AL

Case Summary

On 11/14/2014 SHARON DIETZ filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against MOHAMMED AHSAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are HOLLY E. KENDIG and ELAINE LU. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4088

  • Filing Date:

    11/14/2014

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

HOLLY E. KENDIG

ELAINE LU

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs, Petitioners and Respondents

DIETZ SHARON

MCCARTER KYMM

MONTOYA GILBERT RAUL

AHSAN MOHAMMED

DOES 1 THROUGH 50

MOHAMMED MOHSIN

Defendants, Respondents and Appellants

AHSAN MOHAMMED

DOES 1 THROUGH 50

MOHAMMED MOHSIN

Cross Defendants

MARY ALVARADO

ALVARADO MARY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

ELDER & SPENCER LLP

Appellant Attorney

MARTIN STEPHEN MICHAEL

Defendant and Respondent Attorney

HASAN SHAHED ESQ.

Cross Defendant Attorney

SPENCER CHANDRA GEHRI

 

Court Documents

ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE

1/9/2018: ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE

PLAINTIFFS' CLOSING BRIEF RE: LACK OF ENFORCEABILITY OF ALLEGED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS

3/9/2018: PLAINTIFFS' CLOSING BRIEF RE: LACK OF ENFORCEABILITY OF ALLEGED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS

JUDGMENT

9/7/2018: JUDGMENT

Appeal - Remittitur - Affirmed - APPEAL - REMITTITUR - AFFIRMED B293642

5/11/2020: Appeal - Remittitur - Affirmed - APPEAL - REMITTITUR - AFFIRMED B293642

CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

10/12/2016: CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL -

8/29/2017: REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL -

PLAINTIFFS' LIST OF DISCOVERY MATERIAL INTENDED TO BE USED AT TRIAL

8/29/2017: PLAINTIFFS' LIST OF DISCOVERY MATERIAL INTENDED TO BE USED AT TRIAL

DEFENDANTS' TRIAL BRIEF

9/12/2017: DEFENDANTS' TRIAL BRIEF

Minute Order -

9/25/2017: Minute Order -

NOTICE OF RULING ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO EXCLUDE ARGUMENT, WITNESS TESTIMONY AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE AT TRIAL

10/4/2017: NOTICE OF RULING ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO EXCLUDE ARGUMENT, WITNESS TESTIMONY AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE AT TRIAL

ORDER BARRING CONTACT OR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE PARTIES WHILE TRIAL IS STILL PENDING

10/18/2017: ORDER BARRING CONTACT OR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE PARTIES WHILE TRIAL IS STILL PENDING

Minute Order -

11/27/2017: Minute Order -

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/11/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 26, Elaine Lu, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") (PLAINTIFF/ JUDGMENT CREDITOR?S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT/ JUDGMENT DEBTOR MOHAMMED AHSAN TO RESPOND TO PLAINTIFF/ JUDGMENT CREDITOR?S SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION, SET ONE) - Held

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  • 05/11/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/11/2021
  • DocketOrder (RE: PLAINTIFFS? MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES FROM DEFENDANT/JUDGMENT DEBTOR MOHAMMED AHSAN TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE AND DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION SET ONE); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/07/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 26, Elaine Lu, Presiding; Hearing on Application for Order for Appearance and Examination (MOHAMMED AHSAN, YOU ARE ORDERED TO APPEAR personally before this court, or before a referee appointed by the court, to a. furnish information to aid in enforcement of a money judgment against you. b. answer concerning property of the judgment debt) - Held

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  • 05/07/2021
  • DocketStipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter (Willie Anderson, Jr.)

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  • 05/07/2021
  • DocketNotice (re Issuance of Body Attachment, OSC & Examination); Filed by Sharon Dietz (Plaintiff); Kymm McCarter (Plaintiff); Gilbert Raul Montoya (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/07/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Application for Order for Appearance and Examinati...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/14/2021
  • DocketDeclaration (in Support of Motion to Compel); Filed by Gilbert Raul Montoya (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/14/2021
  • DocketMotion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion; Filed by Gilbert Raul Montoya (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/19/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 26, Elaine Lu, Presiding; Hearing on Application for Order for Appearance and Examination (MOHAMMED AHSAN, YOU ARE ORDERED TO APPEAR personally before this court, or before a referee appointed by the court, to a. furnish information to aid in enforcement of a money judgment against you. b. answer concerning property of the judgment debt) - Held - Continued

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279 More Docket Entries
  • 01/14/2015
  • DocketCROSS-COMPLAINT OF FOR: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS 3.. INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS 4. BREACH OF CONTRACT 5. BREACH OF IMPLIED COVENANT OF GOOD FAITH AND FAIR DEALING 6. BREACH OF CONTRACT

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  • 01/14/2015
  • DocketSUMMONS CROSS-COMPLAINT

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  • 01/14/2015
  • DocketANSWER OF DEFENDANTS MOHAMMMED AHSAN AND MOSHIN MOHAMMED

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  • 01/09/2015
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/09/2015
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 01/09/2015
  • DocketORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 01/09/2015
  • DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/17/2014
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: 1. FAILURE TO PROVIDE HABITABILE DWELLING; ETC

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  • 11/17/2014
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 11/14/2014
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Sharon Dietz (Plaintiff); Kymm McCarter (Plaintiff); Gilbert Raul Montoya (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC564088    Hearing Date: May 11, 2021    Dept: 26

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 26

SHARON DIETZ, et al.

Plaintiffs,

v.

mohammed ahsan, et al.

Defendants.

Case No.: BC564088

Hearing Date: May 11, 2021

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

plaintiffs’ motion to compel responses from defendant/judgment debtor mohammed Ahsan to Special interrogatories, set one and demand for production set one

Background

Plaintiffs Kymm McCarter, Gilbert Raul Montoya (“Montoya”) and Sharon Dietz[1] (collectively “Plaintiffs”) brought this habitability action against defendants Mohammed Ahsan (“Ahsan”) and Mohsin Mohammed (“Mohammed”) (jointly “Defendants”). The case proceeded to a bench trial. On August 2, 2018, the Court found in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendants on all issues. (8/2/18, Statement of Decision on Court Trial p. 18.) The court found in favor of plaintiff Kymm McCarter in the total amount of $82,215 for which defendant Mohammed Ahsan is 100% liable under the theory of joint and several liability, and defendant Mohsin Mohammed is jointly and severally liable for $19,020. (Id. p.16.) The court also found in favor of plaintiff Gilbert Montoya in the total amount of $80,215 for which defendant Mohammed Ahsan is 100% liable under the theory of joint and several liability, and defendant Mohsin Mohammed is jointly and severally liable for $19,020. (Id.) Plaintiffs were deemed the prevailing parties for purposes of an award of attorney’s fees and/or costs. (Id.) On September 7, 2018, judgment was entered accordingly. On October 31, 2018, Defendant Mohammed filed a notice of appeal. On February 4, 2020, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment.

On April 14, 2021, Plaintiff/Judgment Creditor Montoya filed the instant motion to compel Defendant Mohammed Ahsan’s responses to special interrogatories and inspection demands propounded after judgment pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 708.010 et seq. No opposition or reply has been filed.

Motions to Compel

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 708.020(a) and 708.030(a), interrogatories and requests for inspection of documents may be propounded under Code of Civil Procedure 2030.010 et seq and 2031.010 et seq if the demand or interrogatory requests information to aid in enforcement of the money judgment. However, “the judgment creditor may not serve interrogatories or inspection demands … within 120 days after the judgment debtor has responded to the interrogatories or demands previously served …, or within 120 days after the judgment debtor has been examined pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 708.110), and the judgment debtor is not required to respond to any discovery so served.” (CCP § 708.020(b); CCP 708.030(b).)

Under Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.260(a), a party must respond to interrogatories within 30 days of service. Under Code of Civil Procedure section 2031.260(a), a party must respond to requests for production of documents within 30 days of service. Failure to do so waives all objections including privilege or on the protection of work product. (See CCP § 2030.290(a); see also CCP § 2031.300(a).) However, these time limits are extended if served by mail, overnight delivery, fax, or electronically. (See CCP §§ 1010.6(a)(4), 1013.)

Here, Defendant Ahsan has not been examined as he has failed to appear. (Minute Orders 3/19/21; 5/7/21.) Thus, Defendant Ahsan has not been examined within 120 days. Nor has Defendant Ahsan responded to interrogatories or inspection demands from Plaintiff Montoya within 120 days. (Spencer Decl. ¶¶ 4-9.)

On September 17, 2020, Plaintiff Montoya propounded discovery responses to Defendant Ahsan by mail. Responses were due by November 4, 2020. (Spencer Decl. ¶¶ 5-6, Exs. A-B.) After receiving no responses, Plaintiff Montoya sent a meet and confer letter and extended the deadline to respond to December 1, 2020. (Spencer Decl. ¶ 7, Ex. C.) On December 14, 2020, Plaintiff Montoya sent another meet and confer letter and again extended the deadline to respond to January 4, 2021. (Spencer Decl. ¶ 8, Ex. D.) As of filing the motion, no responses have been received. As the responses are untimely, all objections have been waived.

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 2030.290 and 2031.300, Plaintiff Montoya’s motion to compel further responses to Special Interrogatories Set one and Request for Production of Documents Set one are GRANTED.

Defendant/Judgment Debtor Mohammed Ahsan is ordered to serve verified responses to Plaintiff Gilbert Montoya’s Request for Production of Documents, set one and Special Interrogatories set one within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Sanctions

Plaintiff Montoya requests sanctions against Defendant Ahsan in the amount of $2,010.00. Specifically, for three hours at $650 an hour and filing fees of $60.00. (Spencer Decl. ¶ 12.)

“The court shall impose a monetary sanction … against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel a response to [interrogatories or request for production], unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (CCP § 2030.290(c); CCP § 2031.300(c).) Moreover, the Court finds that Defendant Ahsan’s failure to timely respond to the discovery request constitutes an abuse of discovery. (CCP § 2023.030(a); Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1348(a).)

In view of the totality of the circumstances, the Court finds that $2,010.00 reasonably compensates Plaintiff Montoya for attorney’s fees and costs incurred in bringing these motions.

Defendant Mohammad Ahsan is ordered to pay monetary sanctions in the amount of $2,010.00 to Plaintiff Gilbert Montoya by and through counsel, within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Based on the forgoing, Plaintiff/Judgment Creditor Gilbert Montoya’s motion to compel responses to Special Interrogatories, Set One and Request for Production of Documents, Set One is GRANTED.

Defendant/Judgment Debtor Mohammed Ahsan is ordered to serve verified responses to Plaintiff Gilbert Montoya’s Request for Production of Documents, set one and Special Interrogatories set one, without objections, within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Plaintiff/Judgment Creditor Gilbert Montoya’s request for sanctions is GRANTED.

Defendant Mohammad Ahsan is ordered to pay monetary sanctions in the amount of $2,010.00 to Plaintiff Gilbert Montoya by and through counsel, within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Moving Party is ordered to provide notice of this order and file proof of service of such.

DATED: May 11, 2021 ___________________________

Elaine Lu

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] On September 8, 2017 Plaintiff Sharon Dietz’s claims were dismissed.

Case Number: BC564088    Hearing Date: September 24, 2020    Dept: 26

IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT PHYSICAL DISTANCING AND UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, THE COURT STRONGLY ENCOURAGES ALL COUNSEL AND ALL PARTIES TO APPEAR REMOTELY FOR NON-TRIAL AND NON-EVIDENTIARY MATTERS, INCLUDING THIS MOTION.

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 26

SHARON DIETZ, et al.

Plaintiffs,

v.

mohammed ahsan, et al.

Defendants.

Case No.: BC564088

Hearing Date: September 24, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

plaintiffs’ motion for attorney fees and cost on appeal

Background

This is a habitability action in which plaintiffs Kymm McCarter, Gilbert Raul Montoya and Sharon Dietz[1] (collectively “Plaintiffs”) brought suit against defendants Mohammed Ahsan and Mohsin Mohammed (“Mohammed”) (jointly “Defendants”). The case proceeded to a bench trial. On August 2, 2018, the Court found in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendants on all issues. (8/2/18, Statement of Decision on Court Trial p. 18.) The court found in favor of plaintiff Kymm McCarter in the total amount of $82,215 for which defendant Mohammed Ahsan is 100% liable under the theory of joint and several liability, and defendant Mohsin Mohammed is jointly and severally liable for $19,020. (Id. p.16.) The court also found in favor of plaintiff Gilbert Montoya in the total amount of $80,215 for which defendant Mohammed Ahsan is 100% liable under the theory of joint and several liability, and defendant Mohsin Mohammed is jointly and severally liable for $19,020. (Id.) Plaintiffs were deemed the prevailing parties for purposes of an award of attorney’s fees and/or costs. (Id.) On September 7, 2018, judgment was entered accordingly.

On October 31, 2018, Defendant Mohammed filed a notice of appeal. On February 4, 2020, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment. (Spencer Decl. Ex. A.) On June 22, 2020, Plaintiffs filed the instant motion for attorney fees and costs on appeal against Defendant Mohammed. The Court set the instant motion for hearing on September 24, 2020 at 8:30am. (Minute Order 6/29/20.) On July 17, 2020, Plaintiffs filed proof of service of notice of the September 24, 2020 hearing date. No opposition has been filed.

Legal Standard

“The right to recover costs on appeal is governed by California Rules of Court, rule 8.278 (rule 8.278).” (Musaelian v. Adams (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 1251, 1259.)

“Rule 8.278(a) provides in part: ‘(1) Except as provided in this rule, the party prevailing in the Court of Appeal in a civil case other than a juvenile case is entitled to costs on appeal. [¶] ... [¶] (5) In the interests of justice, the Court of Appeal may also award or deny costs as it deems proper.’ The right to recover costs depends on four conditions: ‘(1) There must be a valid judgment awarding costs to the party claiming them; (2) the item must be one allowed by rule or statute; (3) the amount claimed must have been actually incurred; (4) the amount claimed must be reasonable.’” (Ibid.) Additionally, “[u]nless the court orders otherwise, an award of costs neither includes attorney's fees on appeal nor precludes a party from seeking them under rule 3.1702.” (Cal. Rules of Court, 8.278(d)(2).)

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure § 1033.5(a)(10)(A), attorney’s fees when authorized by contract are allowable as costs and may be awarded upon a noticed motion pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure § 1033.5(c)(5). Under Civil Code § 1717(a), “in any action on contract, where the contract specifically provides that attorney’s fees and costs, which are incurred to enforce that contract, shall be awarded either to one of the parties or to the prevailing party then the party who is determined to be the prevailing party on the contract, whether he or she is the party specified in the contract or not, shall be entitled reasonable attorney’s fees in addition to their costs.”

In determining what attorney fees are reasonable, California courts apply the “lodestar” approach. (See, e.g., Holguin v. DISH Network LLC (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 1310, 1332.) This inquiry “begins with the ‘lodestar,’ i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate.” (See PLCM Group v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1095.) From there, the “[t]he lodestar figure may then be adjusted, based on consideration of factors specific to the case, in order to fix the fee at the fair market value for the legal services provided.” (Ibid.) Relevant factors include: “(1) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, (2) the skill displayed in presenting them, (3) the extent to which the nature of the litigation precluded other employment by the attorneys, [and] (4) the contingent nature of the fee award.” (Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1132.)

Discussion

Right to Recover

Here, the lease agreement between the parties includes an attorney’s fees recovery clause which provides “(13) The prevailing party in an action brought for recovery of rent other money due or to become due under this lease or by reason of a breach of any covenant herein contained… shall be awarded the costs in connection therewith including but not by way of limitation, reasonable attorney’s fees.” (Spencer Decl., Ex. C, paragraph 13.)

Plaintiffs prevailed on appeal and shall recover costs. (See Remittitur 5/11/20.) Pursuant to the lease agreement’s attorney’s fees clause, Plaintiffs are entitled to recover attorney’s fees as the prevailing party on appeal.

Reasonableness of Attorney’s Fees

The trial court has broad authority to determine the amount of a reasonable fee. (PLCM Group, Inc. v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1095.) The party bears the burden of proof as to “reasonableness” of any fee claim. (CCP § 1033.5(c)(5).) The party seeking fees has the burden of documenting the appropriate hours expended and hourly rates. (City of Colton v. Singletary (2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 751, 784.) This burden requires competent evidence as to the nature and value of the services rendered. (Martino v. Denevi (1986) 182 Cal.App.3d 553, 559.) Ascertaining the fee amount is left to the trial court’s sound discretion. (Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1132.)

Plaintiffs seeks attorney’s fees pursuant to the terms of the lease agreement in the amount of $24,907.50 for a total of 50.6 hours worked by attorneys, a paralegal and legal assistants. (Spencer Decl., Ex. D.) The moving papers provide the following hourly rate for the individuals who worked on this matter (1) Chandra G. Spencer[2] at $650/hr, (2) Luis M. Inocente[3] at $450/hr, (3) Courtney N. Mikolaj[4] at $225/hr, (4) Alma A. Gallegos[5] at $150/hr, (5) Veronica Gallegos[6] at $150/hr and (16) Margarita Fernandez[7] at $150/hr. As Defendant does not oppose the court finds the hourly rates to be reasonable. Moreover, in reviewing the timesheet, (Spencer Decl. Ex. D), the amount of time spent and hours of work performed to be reasonable.

Accordingly, utilizing a lodestar approach, and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the Court finds that the total and reasonable amount of attorney’s fees a incurred on appeal is $24,907.50

Costs

Under Code of Civil Procedure section 1033.5 the claimed costs are allowable. (Memorandum of Costs 6/22/20.) Accordingly, the court grants costs in the total amount of $699.20 to reflect the filing fees of $460.20 and preparation of the original and copies of clerk’s transcript or appendix for $239.00.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Based on the forgoing, Plaintiffs’ motion for attorney fees is GRANTED against Defendant Mohsin Mohammed in the amount of $25,606.70 reflecting attorney fees of $24,907.50 and costs of $699.20.

Moving Party is ordered to provide notice of this order and file proof of service of such.

DATED: September 24, 2020 ___________________________

Elaine Lu

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] On September 8, 2017 Plaintiff Sharon Dietz’s claims were dismissed.

[2] Chandra Spencer is a graduate of Pepperdine Law school and has been in practice since 1996. (Spencer Decl. ¶ 15.)

[3] Luis Inocente is a graduate of Glendale University College of Law and has been practicing since 2015. (Spencer Decl. ¶ 16.)

[4] Courtney Mikolaj is a paralegal with eight years of experience as a legal assistant and paralegal. (Spencer Decl ¶ 17.)

[5] Alma A. Gallegos is a law clerk who has several years of experience. (Spencer Decl. ¶ 18.)

[6] Veronica Gallegos is a law clerk with several years of experience. (Spencer Decl. ¶ 19.)

[7] Margarita Fernandez is a law clerk with several years of experience. (Spencer Decl. ¶ 20.)

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