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Equal Pay Act Attorney Lawyer Sacramento Stockton Modesto VenturaPlaintiff and appellant Mahta Sharif brought an action against her former employer, defendant and respondent Mehusa, Inc., an international food export company, for unpaid overtime (Lab. Code, § 1194), unpaid wages (§ 201), and violation of California’s Equal Pay Act (§ 1197.5).  She prevailed on her Equal Pay Act claim with the jury awarding her $26,300.  Defendant prevailed on plaintiff’s overtime and wage claims.  Plaintiff filed a cost memorandum and was awarded her costs.  She also filed a motion for attorney fees under section 1197.5, subdivision (g) as the prevailing party on her Equal Pay Act claim.  Defendant filed a motion for attorney fees and costs under section 218.5 as the prevailing party on plaintiff’s wage claim.  The trial court awarded plaintiff her attorney fees and defendant its attorney fees and costs.  The trial court offset the attorney fees awards for a net award to plaintiff of $3,709.19.

On appeal, plaintiff contends that she was the sole prevailing party on a “‘practical level’” and as that term is defined in Code of Civil Procedure section 1032, subdivision (a)(4).  Accordingly, plaintiff contends, the trial court erred in awarding defendant its attorney fees and costs.  Plaintiff also contends that the trial court abused its discretion in calculating her attorney fees.  In affirming, we hold in the published portion of this opinion that when there are two fee shifting statutes in separate causes of action, there can be a prevailing party for one cause of action and a different prevailing party for the other cause of action.

The case is Sharif v. Mehusa (CA2/5 B255578 10/14/15).


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