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Los Angeles Lawyer

The Magazine of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

 
 

July/August 2005      MCLE Test and Answer Sheet

Test Number 139: Catalyst for Change

 
 

Instructions for Obtaining MCLE Credit

The Los Angeles County Bar Association certifies that this activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education legal ethics credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour. To apply for credit, please follow the instructions.

1. Study the CLE article.

2. Answer the test questions by marking the appropriate boxes. Each question has only one answer.

3. Photocopies of this answer sheet may be submitted; however, this form should not be enlarged or reduced. Mail the answer sheet and the $15 testing fee ($20 for non-LACBA members) to:

Los Angeles Lawyer
MCLE Test
P.O. Box 55020
Los Angeles, CA 90055 

Make checks payable to Los Angeles Lawyer.

4. You can also fill in the test form and submit it directly to LACBA by clicking "Submit." To submit your test answers online you will need to pay by credit card. After submitting your answers you will be presented with a screen requesting payment information. This information will be submitted in a secure mode which will allow you to safely transmit your credit card number over the Internet. If you prefer not to pay by credit card, please print this answer sheet and submit your responses by regular mail.

5. Within six weeks, Los Angeles Lawyer will return your test with the correct answers, a rationale for the correct answers, and a certificate verifying the CLE credit you earned through this self-assessment activity.

6. For future reference, please retain the CLE test materials returned to you.

 
  Test Sheet
 
 

Mark your answers to the test by clicking next to your choice.  All questions must be answered.  Each question has only one answer. This test is worth 1 hour of credit.*

 

1. The private attorney general fee doctrine was first recognized in California more than 100 years ago.
 True.
 False.

2. The private attorney general fee doctrine has been applied in:
  A. Zoning challenges.
  B. Contract disputes.
  C. Malpractice actions.

3. The term "successful party" under the private attorney general fee doctrine has the same meaning as the term "prevailing party" under other attorney's fees statutes.
 True.
 False.

4. The California Supreme Court followed federal precedent when it adopted the catalyst theory in 1983.
 True.
 False.

5. The catalyst theory allows a court to award private attorney general fees to a plaintiff whose lawsuit motivated the defendant to provide the primary relief sought by the plaintiff even if the plaintiff does not obtain a final judgment in the plaintiff's favor.
 True.
 False.

6. Despite the fact that the plaintiffs did not obtain a final judgment, private attorney general fees were upheld on appeal in:
  A. Boccato v. City of Hermosa Beach.
  B. Wallace v. Consumers Cooperative of Berkeley, Inc.
  C. City of Sacramento v. Drew.

7. Private attorney general fees may be denied if a causal factor other than the plaintiff's lawsuit influenced the change in the defendant's behavior.
 True.
 False.

8. Other causal factors leading to a change in the defendant's behavior that could influence the award of private attorney general fees include:
 A. Administrative proceedings initiated by a state agency against the defendant.
 B. A previously filed lawsuit by a different plaintiff.
 C. A and B.

9. According to the court, the plaintiff could not establish a causal link between the plaintiff's lawsuit and the defendant's change of conduct in:
 A. Press v. Lucky Stores, Inc.
 B. Folsom v. Butte County Association of Governments.
 C. Crawford v. Board of Education.

10. In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court abolished the California private attorney general fee doctrine.
 True.
 False.

11. Under federal law, a plaintiff cannot obtain an award of private attorney general fees if a lawsuit is settled before a final judgment or other significant court order such as a consent decree.
 True.
 False.

12. The purpose of the private attorney general fee doctrine is to:
 A. Encourage private enforcement of strong public policies.
 B. Reward successful lobbying efforts.
 C. None of the above.

13. In Graham v. DaimlerChrysler, the California Supreme Court affirmed the catalyst theory under California law.
 True.
 False.

14. Under the rule in Graham, a successful party under the catalyst theory must:
 A. Establish a causal connection between the lawsuit and the relief obtained.
 B. Demonstrate that the lawsuit was not frivolous.
 C. A and B.

15. The Graham court balanced the policy of encouraging lawsuits in the public interest against the policy of:
 A. Discouraging extortionate lawsuits.
 B. Encouraging quick settlements.
 C. Discouraging court congestion.

16. A trial court can evaluate whether a lawsuit is not frivolous based upon declarations or an evidentiary hearing.
 True.
 False.

17. In order to obtain private attorney general fees under the catalyst theory, the plaintiff should avoid contacting the defendant before filing a lawsuit.
 True.
 False.

18. Under the rule in Graham, a plaintiff can establish a rebuttable presumption, shifting the burden of proof, that the plaintiff's lawsuit was the catalyst under the private attorney general fee doctrine by showing only that the defendant changed its conduct after the plaintiff's lawsuit was filed.
 True.
 False.

19. California decisions have consistently applied an abuse of discretion standard of review to the determination of whether a plaintiff is a successful party entitled to private attorney general fees.
 True.
 False.

20. Under federal law, a de novo standard of review is applied to the issue of a party's entitlement to private attorney general fees.
 True.
 False.

Address and Billing

After submitting your answers you will be asked to enter your name, address, and payment information on the next screen. Once you have submitted the current form, you will be switched to a secure mode which will allow you to safely transmit your credit card number over the Internet.

If you do not wish to complete this transaction over the Internet you should print this page and send it to the address listed in Step 3 of the instructions at the top of this page.

 

Before clicking the Submit button, please verify that all questions have been answered. An error message will appear if not all questions are answered.

* The Los Angeles County Bar Association has been approved as a continuing legal education provider of Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California. This self-assessment activity will qualify for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of one hour.

 


 
 
 
 

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