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$88 Million Award To Lawyers Struck Down

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The California Supreme Court is letting stand a ruling that said it was unconstitutional to pay $88 million to attorneys who successfully challenged the state´s vehicle smog fees.

The justices announced today they would not review a court´s decision that the legal fees were an unconstitutional gift of public funds.

The attorneys were awarded the money after arguing in court that California wrongly collected a $300 fee on out-of-state car registrations.

A judge awarded lawyers $18 million when the smog fee was struck down. The governor wanted the fees set in arbitration because he thought they would get lowered. But then arbitrators awarded the lawyers $88 million.

An appeals court said $18 million dollars was the maximum allowed.