Richard Schulman Schulman: “This affects all businesses and many private parties in California, not just developers; worse, it is only one of many ways in which the state’s judges have tilted the playing field.”

SAN DIEGO—California’s “arcane and convoluted” attorneys’ fee rules are heavily weighted against businesses and developers, according to Richard Schulman, a land-use attorney with Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg & Bagley LLP.  And, he maintains, they just became more onerous: a California Court of Appeal recently ruled that the loser of a lawsuit could not be ordered to pay its opponent’s attorneys’ fees because the loser was a historic preservation group whose goals the court endorsed (even after finding that the group’s arguments in that particular case were wrong). discusses the issue with Schulman and what it means for developers. What is the “American Rule” regarding attorneys’ fees and how has it changed?

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.

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