California Supreme Court
Many online travel services form partnerships with hotels so that consumers can buy both discounted plane tickets and make hotel reservations in a single transaction. Because the online travel services bring in customers that the hotel chains might not attract, the online travel services commonly charge the hotel a service fee.
Some plaintiffs’ attorneys approached the California state governments and noted that California could try to collect hotel and occupancy taxes on the service fees. The plaintiffs’ attorneys volunteered to sue the online companies in exchange for a percentage of the recovered tax.
Status: DECIDED. Amicus brief filed in support of Priceline on June 24, 2009. Court upheld counsel retention agreement Jan.5, 2010.