COSTA MESA, California, March 09, 2009 – Attorneys Steve Nichols and Rob Marcereau of Rutan & Tucker, LLP, California’s largest full-service law firm based in Orange County, recently recovered $12,107,263 from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) on behalf of their client, Sully-Miller Contracting Company. The claim was for delay and productivity damages on a bridge and highway rehabilitation project in Riverside County along Routes 60 and 215. After a nine-week arbitration hearing, the two attorneys obtained the award against Caltrans for $9,947,301—nearly every dollar claimed—including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs that were awarded because Nichols, a partner with the firm and Marcereau, an associate, received substantially more than their pre-arbitration settlement demand to Caltrans. The award triggered a statutory attorney’s fees right. Instead of paying the award, Caltrans sought to have it overturned in court. Nichols and Marcereau won the court action as well, and were again awarded all of their attorneys’ fees and costs. They also received sanctions against Caltrans’ counsel for filing a frivolous motion to transfer venue to Sacramento. When Caltrans failed to pay the judgment, Nichols and Marcereau filed an action to compel payment. Finally, just two days before the scheduled court hearing in January, 2009, Caltrans paid Sully-Miller $12,107,263, which included interest and fees incurred since the arbitration award. Nichols and Marcereau represent some of the largest contractors and materials suppliers in the state and throughout the world. In addition to Sully-Miller, they represent Skanska, Washington Group International, ARB, Hanson, and MCM Construction. This latest case marks the fourth time the two attorneys have handled a Caltrans contract action through arbitration, and the fourth time they received a multi-million dollar award. In each case, Nichols and Marcereau beat their pre-arbitration settlement demand, and in each case they were awarded their attorneys fees and costs. They have also settled numerous cases with Caltrans on behalf of their clients for many tens of millions of dollars.
Caltrans Legal Strategy - Nichols & Marcereau copy