Santa Clara will have to write a check for $3.16 million in attorneys’ fees in the 2018 California Voting Rights Act lawsuit the City lost, Superior Court Judge Thomas Kuhnle ordered in a decision published late Monday afternoon.
In May, Kuhnle found the City’s at-large by-seat system for electing its City Council in violation of the CVRA, and in June imposed a six-district, single-member remedy for the 2018 election. One result was the election of the Santa Clara City Council’s first minority, Indian-American Raj Chahal.
In the award Kuhnle pared down some of the plaintiffs’ fees and costs, awarding them about 75 percent of what they asked for. Santa Clara has already paid its own attorneys almost $1 million.
Judge Kuhnle’s final order is substantially the same as his tentative ruling, distributed Jan. 18. The principal difference is that Kuhnle reduced the award by $200,000 because of arithmetic errors.
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