Dauber seeks attorney’s fees from Judge Persky

Michele Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber and Ex-Judge Aaron Persky

Daily Post Staff Writer

Michele Dauber, the Stanford law professor who led the campaign that removed so-called “Brock Turner judge” Aaron Persky from the Santa Clara County bench, is now seeking more than $112,000 in attorney’s fees and out-of-pocket costs from him, according to court documents.

She incurred the legal expenses when Persky sued county Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey along with Dauber and other petitioners over the recall effort in August, claiming that their notice of intent to circulate the recall petition had violated the state constitution.

Persky’s lawyers argued that Persky was appointed a Superior Court judge by the governor, so he was a state officer, not a county officer. For this reason, the Secretary of State, rather than the county registrar, should have certified the petition, they claimed.

A judge granted Persky a restraining order to prevent the recall campaign from collecting signatures, but the pause only lasted 17 days — when another judge sided with the recall.

Persky then asked the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court to stop the recall, to no avail.
Now, Dauber wants Persky to pay the $112,456.45 that her camp spent on lawyers in fighting Persky’s lawsuit.

Dauber’s motion, filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Friday, claims that because Dauber was the “successful party” in the suit, her side is owed attorney’s fees.

Her lawyers also argue that Dauber enforced “important rights affecting the public interest,” providing a “significant benefit” to the general public by protecting the right of recall by the citizens of the county.

Public benefit cited

Dauber’s motion points out that almost 95,000 residents signed the petition — “more signatures than had been gathered on any other petition in the county’s history and almost twice the number needed to qualify the recall for the ballot” — and the recall won with 61.28% of the vote.

“As a result of (Dauber’s) defense of this action on appeal, the 95,000 Santa Clara County residents who signed the recall petition and the almost 200,000 Santa Clara County residents who voted in favor of (Persky’s) recall were able to exercise their valuable constitutional rights, notwithstanding (Persky’s) repeated attempts to deny them that opportunity,” Dauber’s attorney, Fredric Woocher, wrote. “(Dauber’s) defense of this action throughout the appellate proceedings thus conferred a significant benefit on the public, and enforced the fundamental right of recall that is enshrined in the California Constitution, all without any expectation of financial reward.”

Billable hours

According to a list of fees, Woocher racked up $97,212.50 for 111.1 hours of work. Attorney Beverley G. Palmer is owed $8,826.50 for 12.7 hours of work and attorney Jenna Miara is owed $5,295.50 for 8.9 hours.

Dauber has claimed another $1,121.95 in out-of-pocket expenses, including travel to attend court hearings, photocopy expenses and legal research charges. Persky made $186,416.90 as a judge last year, according to Transparent California.

A hearing hasn’t yet been set for a judge to hear the motion.


  1. Michele Dauber is unbelievably vindictive. She called for the continued public shaming of Turner, is planning to sue LaDoris Cordell for defamation, and now she is suing Persky, even after she got him removed from office. She is out of control. She wants to break anyone and everyone who is against her.

  2. I’m dissapointed in the recall. Now judges will now have to fear that they’ll lose their job if the public is uninformed about cases/court procedure and they don’t like a verdit. The judge was cleared by an ethics board for this case and his past was as well. The precident that this sets effects anyone and everyone, from plaintiff to defendant, in high profile complex politically charged cases. Everyone will wonder, “was this sentance given to do justice or appease the mob?”

    All Dauber had to do to smear Persky was to try and make him “guilty by association” to the the crime. Persky faced the harder task of clearing his name and educating an uneducated public on court ethics, procedure, and standards to explain his tough deciscion. and additionally, hes not even allowed to speak on the case due to him having been the judge on it. The only thing that makes me hopeful is that it was a close vote and at least Palo Alto was smart enough to vote against it. Dauber had to find citizens further from the case who knew less about it to spin it and get her votes. She seems really off kilter and if you know about the weird stuff she’s posted on twitter (shes posted violent songs about the case and a bunch of other oddly-hateful and vengeful content), it seems she just tries to publicly shame anyone who disagrees with her.

  3. Concerned and Disgusted ought to stop their projecting and do some navel gazing. Step outside their emotional diatribes against the Recall advocates…and you’d find Ms Dauber is well within her rights, and has significant legal precedence to back her, in her demand for attorney fees etc. Think about it, just about everything Judge Persky did in this specific matter backfired…and may, just maybe there was a reason and it was coz he was all wrong, not in all matters but just in this specific matter…

  4. >What more will Dauber do in her crusade to destroy Judge Persky?
    “Crusade”? “Destroy”? “Spouted”? “Mired in shame”? “Falsehoods”?
    These words tell me the person writing them is overcome with emotions, lost their balance and marbles…

    >Dauber is the one who should be sued
    Ok, ok, ok, sure, go ahead, sue her or find someone/others who is willing to step up and do what you recommend: sue Dauber. Let’s see what the courts would rule on that suit. I’d bet all I have you’d end up paying Dauber’s atty costs…are you ready to take on that bet?

    Move on, folks. The people have spoken, you backed the wrong horse, stop wasting other people’s time with your whines…move on!

    • Don’t you love lawyers, and their minions. I am betting Stanford cannot run away from her and this fast enough. But as silly as the single digit IQ the poster is, it is classic democracy. And it worked, the citizens eligible to vote signed the petition and it accomplished its task, its deliverable. Downstream affects? We will see.

      • >Downstream affects?

        You probably meant “effects” but what does this “single digit IQ” person who you dismiss as a “lawyer’s minion” know? Better to defer to a White that knows it all, right?

  5. She wants recognition as she isn’t doing will in Law department. I regret voting for her husband for a seat in PAUSD.

  6. Dauber initiated a Recall Campaigned, raised over $1 million. He sought to defend himself, now she wants him to reimburse her Campaign. Corruption is what Michele Dauber is all about. I hope he sues her, forces the Campaign to open its, and he should also include lost wages and defamation as aggravating circumstances.

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