home Chuyện Ngoài Phố, Tin Cộng Đồng Kết Thúc Phiên Tòa Brown Act. sau 9 năm

Kết Thúc Phiên Tòa Brown Act. sau 9 năm

 

Phiên tòa quan trọng này ngày 18/8/2017 về vấn đề án phí trong vụ kiện TP San José. Kèm theo đây là đơn tôi thỉnh cầu tòa chấp thuận luật sư phí và án phí cho Cộng Đồng VN Bắc California là bên đã thắng kiện TP San José. Xin qúi vị phổ biến tin này.
Phiên tòa ngày Thứ Sáu 18 Tháng 8, 2017, 1:30PM, Dept. 89
Địa Điểm:
State of California, Santa Clara County Superior Court
270 Grant Avenue, Dept. 89
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Kính Thư,
Ls Đỗ Văn Quang Minh
Minh Q. Steven Dovan

Attorney At Law
777 N First Street, Suite 325
San Jose, CA USA 95112-6338
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ENC
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1 JAMES McMANIS (40958)
JAMES GIACCHETTI (307117)
2 McMANIS FAULKNER Ml 4UG -3 p -j: |f
a Professional Corporation
3 50 West San Fernando Street, 10th Floor
San Jose, California 951 13
P.V’ P i ‘ill CO! “17
55:11® *
4 Telephone: (408) 279-8700
Facsimile: (408)279-3244
5 Email:
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jgiacchetti@mcmanislaw.com \
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£
6 Attorneys for Plaintiff, VIETNAMESE AMERICAN
COMMUNITY OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA &
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SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
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FOR THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA
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VIETNAMESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY
OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, a non-profit
Case No. 1-08-CV-107082
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corporation,
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DOVAN IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF’S
MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND
EXPENSES
Plaintiff,
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vs.
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CITY OF SAN JOSE; CITY COUNCIL OF
SAN JOSE; REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
OF THE CITY OF SAN JOSE; AND DOES 1-
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Date:
Time:
August 18, 2017
16 20, 1:30 p.m.
Dept.
Judge:
89
17 Defendants. The Hon. Vincent J. Chiarello
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SignatureViaFacsimile
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I, Minh Q. Steven Dovan, declare as follows:
1 . I am an attorney licensed to practice before all courts ofthe State of California. I
have personal knowledge ofthe facts stated herein and if called as a witness, I could and would
competently testify thereto.
2. This action arose out of a lawsuit filed on February 29, 2008 by the VietnameseAmerican
Community ofNorthern California (hereinafter VACNORCAL) against the names
defendants for violations of the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act. The two
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REPLY DECLARATION OF STEVEN DOVAN ISO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS
FEES; CASE NO. 1-08-CV- 107082
1 causes of action were tried separately in the court before the Honorable Joseph H. Huber, and
2 the Honorable Vincent J. Chiarello, respectively.
3. VACNORCAL prevailed in both trials. The CPRA trial concluded in 201 1 and
4 Judge Huber awarded attorneys’ fees and costs to VACNORCAL as the prevailing party. The
5 Brown Act trial in front of Judge Chiarello concluded in 2016. VACNORCAL is now
6 requesting an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses as the prevailing party on its Brown Act
7 cause of action.
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4. After the lawsuit was filed, VACNORCAL designated three individuals as
9 representatives in the case: Tien Ngoc Nguyen who is the president ofVACNORCAL, Trina
1 0 Nguyen who is a paralegal professional with more than 20 years of court and litigation
1 1 experience, and Minh Q. Steven Dovan who is an attorney with more than 30 years as a trial
12 attorney.
S
13 I emigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. in 1961 after primary school to join my
father who had come to the U.S. in 1957 to accept a teaching position. I am fluent in English
and Vietnamese (read, write, speak) and have a rudimentary command of French. I received an
undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) (BA June
1973), an MBA (December 1980), and a law degree from the University of Southern California
(USC) (JD December 1983). I spent my final two semesters of law school (Spring and Fall
1983) at UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall). During law school I clerked at the Los Angeles County
Public Defender’s office, and also at the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco. I was a staff
attorney at the Asian Law Alliance in San Jose from 1984-1985 handling civil and criminal
cases including trial work. I am also admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. I have been a solo
practitioner in San Jose since 1985 as a civil and criminal attorney. I have taken both civil and
criminal trials to jury verdict. Although I am a solo practitioner with limited resources, I have
provided and continue to provide pro-bono services in civil and criminal matters, including jury
trial. I have served and I am serving as a court arbitrator, mediator and neutral for the Superior
Courts in San Francisco and Santa Clara Counties respectively for more than a dozen years. In
1991 I was honored to be appointed by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Malcolm Lucas
5.
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REPLY DECLARATION OF STEVEN DOVAN ISO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’
FEES; CASE NO. 1-08-CV-l 07082
1 and serve on the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Race and Ethnic Bias (Supreme
2 Court Justices Alan Broussard and John Arguelles, Co-Chairs) and the Court Interpreters’
3 Advisory Committee (Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lance Ito, Chair). Both
4 commitments lasted more than 5 years. I have also served on numerous community and local
5 bar committees.
6. As a TV talk show host in Northern California (KTSF channel 26) spanning 30
7 years from 1985-2015, 1 conducted programs in the English and Vietnamese medium and I have
8 interviewed guests ranging from members of congress, and ambassadors, to local politicians e.g.
9 city mayors, county supervisors, as well as law enforcement and legal personalities including
10 the directors ofthe Immigration and Nationalization Services (INS), Judges, Police Chiefs,
1 1 DAs, PDs and others.
7. It was during one ofmy TV programs that Mr. Forrest Williams, then a
1 3 councilmember of San Jose, admitted to speaking with councilmember Ms. Madison Nguyen
14 relating to the Little Saigon issue which gave rise to this Brown Act lawsuit. It should be noted
15 that I was not an attorney for VACNORCAL at the time I interviewed Mr. Williams on my TV
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16 program.
17 8. After the lawsuit was filed on February 29, 2008 by VACNORCAL, its leaders
18 and officers asked me to serve as VACNORCAL’ S attorney and to work with Trina Nguyen in
conjunction with the law firm ofSheppard Mullin which at that time was VACNORCAL’S
attorneys ofrecord. I was honored at VACNORCAL’S request and I did not hesitate to accept.
However, I also made it clear to VACNORCAL that I would not accept any compensation for
my legal services. IfI had billed for my legal work in the lawsuit, my rate would have been
$400.00/hr which is reasonable and appropriate given my background, education, and legal
work experience. However Trina Nguyen and I are not asking for any fees for ourselves. In
addition to providing legal services to VACNORCAL, Trina Nguyen and I have also
contributed our own personal funds for VACNORCAL to prosecute this lawsuit.
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REPLY DECLARATION OF STEVEN DOVAN ISO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’
FEES; CASE NO. 1-08-CV-l 07082
1 Although Trina Nguyen and I were later designated as 2 of the 3 representatives
2 ofVACNORCAL in the lawsuit, both of us were and are legal professionals with extensive
3 litigation background and experience. As such we were able to provide some of our legal
4 services to the law firms that were retained by VACNORCAL beginning with Sheppard Mullin,
5 and later with McManis Faulkner, and also appellate counsel.
10. A list ofthe legal services that Trina Nguyen and I provided to VACNORCAL in
7 this lawsuit are too many to itemize. However, a few examples of our legal work would include
8 the following:
9.
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1 1 . Ms. Nguyen and I provided some legal research and analysis ofthe law as it pertains
10 to the Brown Act, the CPRA. We also helped with legal strategies and some discovery
1 1 (propounding and responding), appellate, and trial work with VACNORCAL’ S retained law
12 firms while the lawsuit was the Superior Court and the Appellate Court for nine (9) years.
12. Ms. Nguyen and I did some legal research and analyzed legal strategies to oppose
14 some ofthe defense motions in the Superior Court. We appeared at every court hearing (except
1 5 for one) and were recognized by the Court.
13. Ms. Nguyen and I contributed strategies to the legal team when VACNORCAL had
1 7 two trials in the Superior Court, as well the appellate proceedings in the 6th District Court of
1 8 Appeal when defendants filed (and lost) their writ requesting a Gag Order which had been
19 denied by the Superior Court (the DCA unanimously affirming Judge Kevin Murphy’s decision).
20 We also assisted appellate counsel with strategies and analysis when VACNORCAL had to
21 appeal (successfully) Judge Mark Pierce’s ruling in favor of defendant’s motion for summary
22 judgment on the Brown Act cause of action.
14. Ms. Nguyen and I helped prepare notes for the taking of depositions, and we helped
24 review some ofthose deposition transcripts to determine and identify the crucial and relevant
25 facts as they applied to the violation of the Brown Act. I was also personally involved and
26 attended more than half a dozen of the depositions.
15. Ms. Nguyen and I were involved in numerous mediation sessions and settlement
28 discussions with Judge Jack Komar (at the early stages of the lawsuit) and one mediation session
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REPLY DECLARATION OF STEVEN DOVAN ISO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’
FEES; CASE NO. 1-08-CV-107082
1 with Judge John Herlihy after VACNORCAL had already prevailed in the CPRA . action and was
2 preparing for the Brown Act trial. We engaged in numerous discussions and were involved in
3 conferences with the legal team with recommendations and proposals to try to settle the lawsuit.
4 We helped to assess the required directives that would be needed in the City’s future conduct.
16. This lawsuit could have been resolved quickly, simply, and fairly ifthe City had only
6 acknowledged that it had violated the Brown Act. VACNORCAL requested and engaged in
7 numerous mediation sessions in attempts to settle this lawsuit. The City however was unyielding
8 in insisting it had done nothing wrong, and there was no need to change anything at City Hall.
17. This lawsuit was so protracted in no small part due to the intransigence ofthe
1 0 defendants and their belief that VACNORCAL would lack the funds, become discouraged, and
1 1 be consumed by litigation fatigue so as to eventually dismiss or abandon its lawsuit. Because of
12 the community’s commitment, patience and resilience however, and with the tremendous help
13 from exceptional and conscientious law firms, VACNORCAL persevered and justice and
14 democracy prevailed not only for the Vietnamese-American community, but also for the people
1 5 ofthe City ofSan Jose and the State of California.
18. Although Trina Nguyen and I volunteered our legal services to VACNORCAL on a
17 pro bono basis in this lawsuit, I feel that VACNORCAL was most fortunate to have had stellar
1 8 legal representation from highly respected law firms. These firms were sympathetic to
19 VACNORCAL’S plight and they agreed to represent VACNORCAL on a contingency basis
20 when the community was unable to pay the legal fees. Not only have the law firms agreed to take
21 on this case and have provided an immense amount oftheir time and resources, but appellate
22 counsel and McManis Faulkner have even advanced the litigation costs.
1 9. Trina Nguyen and I provided some legal help and counsel in this lawsuit pro bono.
24 Had we not done so however, there is no doubt the legal fees ofthe law firms would have been
25 much higher.
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REPLY DECLARATION OF STEVEN DOVAN ISO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS
FEES; CASE NO. 1-08-CV-107082
ALH3.-03-8017 14:33 From:LAW OFC STEUEN DOUAN 14082872564 T o : 1408S793E44 Pasesl’l
20. Given the extraordinary and tremendous amount of work that have been provided by
2 Sheppard Mullm, MeManis Faulkner, and appellate counsel, the fees and expenses requested arc
3 amply justified and I respectfully request the court to award them in ftill.
T declare under penalty of” perjury under Lhe laws of’ the State of California that the
5 foregoing is true and correct. ‘
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1 Dated: -fay ?{r >0/7
STFV1IN DOVAN 8
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REPLY DECLARATION OF STF.VF.N 1)0VAN ISO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’
PEL’S; CASE NO. 1-08-CV- 107082
08/03/2017 2:38PM [Job Number 6179] @0001

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