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Sheppard Mullin Obtains Attorneys’ Fees Award Stemming From Tournament of Roses Lawsuit


Sheppard Mullin obtained a significant victory before the District Court on behalf of clients the City of Pasadena and the Rose Bowl Operating Company. The dispute stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association (“the Tournament”) following the Tournament’s move of the January 1, 2021 Rose Bowl Game from Pasadena, CA to Arlington, TX under a pretext that Los Angeles was too dangerous as a venue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the Court granted Sheppard Mullin’s motion to dismiss the case in its entirety. The Tournament then filed a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit and Sheppard Mullin moved for recovery of the City’s attorneys’ fees. On March 18, 2022, the Court granted our motion and awarded the City of Pasadena $408,923 in attorneys’ fees to be paid by the Tournament.

Councilmember Steve Madison, who sits as the City Council representative on the Rose Bowl Operating Company said, “I am hopeful that now the parties can move beyond this litigation, shift to celebrating the stadium’s 100th anniversary this summer, and work together toward another 100 years of Rose Bowl Games in the Rose Bowl Stadium.”

The Sheppard Mullin team representing the City of Pasadena was led by partners Kent Raygor and David Sunkin and included special counsel Valerie Alter and Paul Bost and partner Tenaya Rodewald.

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