It was almost 2 p.m. when Liz put the final touches on the memo to her boss summarizing the court hearing. She had been in court all morning because her hearing on the contract bid challenge case had been the last item on the court’s morning agenda. Being careful not to exhibit any emotion when the court ruled in the City’s favor on all counts, she had waited respectfully until the judge ended the hearing, and walked slowly out of the courtroom.
After speaking briefly to opposing counsel in the hall, she left him waiting for the ancient elevator while she took the escalator down to the first floor. She stopped in the mall next to the courthouse to send a two-word text to Brian: “Won—yay!”
She had eaten lunch at her desk, as usual, while catching up on the accumulated emails from the morning and going through the mail. Liz read the short memorandum over a final time, corrected a few spacing and punctuation items, and emailed it to Terry.
TO: Terry Santiago
Assistant City Attorney
FROM: Elizabeth R. O’Connell
Senior Deputy City Attorney
RE: Data Delivery Systems v. City of Los Angeles, et al.
LASC case No. BS-21-4872
The purpose of this memorandum is to advise you that at the hearing on the above-captioned case this morning in Department 82, Judge Morales denied Data Delivery Systems’ (DDS) Petition for Writ of Mandate on all counts.
As you will recall, the Family Support Unit issued a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for a fiscal agent last year, reviewed the bids and recommended to the City Council that Data Analytics be awarded the contract, despite the fact that its bid was higher than that submitted by DDS. On February 5th of last year the Council voted 14 to 1 to award the contract to Data Analytics.
After exhausting their administrative remedies, DDS filed an application for a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) and a Petition for Writ of Mandate seeking to overturn the Council’s decision. Considering the fact that Data Analytics had begun performing the contract, Judge Morales denied the TRO as being detrimental to the public good, and the case proceeded to briefing on the Petition for Writ of Mandate.
Judge Morales’ Tentative Ruling in our favor is attached for your review. After hearing argument, the judge ruled that “The City did not abuse its discretion when it evaluated the Cost Category, which resulted in Data Delivery Systems, the low bidder, receiving a lower score in this category because the City complied with the language set forth in the RFP and in Municipal Code section 3.146. (a). The record indicates that the City compared the two proposals and determined that Data Delivery Systems’ cost proposal was unrealistic.”
Because the judge ruled from the bench, her Tentative Ruling will stand, and is now the judgment of the court. The five-page ruling details the reasoning of the court and cites the relevant authority. Immediately following the hearing, the Petitioner’s attorney, Sheldon Ludlow, advised that he will appeal the ruling.
In my opinion, it is highly unlikely that the Court of Appeal will overturn Judge Morales’ detailed, well-reasoned ruling, particularly in the absence of any evidence of abuse of discretion.