SPAWN Fees Hearing is Nov 20

On November 20 Friday at 9 am, the Court will consider Spawn's request for Marin taxpayers to fund $916,953 in SPAWN's attorneys fees for the lawsuit opposing the 2007 Countywide Plan. The hearing will be in Courtroom E at Civic Center, before Judge Haakenson.

San Geronimo Valley Stewards will attend to observe. (We are not allowed to make comments or written objections. The County is the defending party.)

This morning November 10 the Marin IJ opinion page published a letter from David Zaltsman, the County Counsel representing Marin in the case. He explained the Court of Appeal ruling that lead to SPAWN's fee request.

You can read it at www.marinij.com/opinion/20151109/marin-voice-county-creek-fight

SPAWN told the Court it will forego its request for a $450,000 bonus ("enhancement multiplier"), but only if the Court awards the full amount of the $916,953 fees requested.

Marin County Counsel opposes the fees on various grounds, including:
--duplicate hours by several lawyers doing the same work;
--grossly excessive fees for simple legal research where there was no dispute of facts;
--Stanford Law School clinic asking fees for student academic work and the professor with personal stake in the outcome as a Director of SPAWN;
--minor public benefit of a new Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR).

Meanwhile the County is moving forward with the new SEIR. SG Valley Stewards is assisting the County in obtaining homeowner consents for researchers to access the creeks. It is important the new SEIR survey a wide range of parcels and creek locations, to correct errors and data gaps in the 2009 conditions report and Salmon Enhancement Plan (SEP).

We will inform you of the Court's decision.