The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted CCL's motion for a stay of its mandate in City of Oakland v. Wells Fargo & Co

      The case originated in 2015 when Oakland sued Wells Fargo for allegedly giving minority borrowers more expensive and riskier loans than it provided to non-minority borrowers with similar credit characteristics. Oakland, represented by CCL and other lawyers, successfully staved off a motion to dismiss on standing grounds. In 2017, the Supreme Court, in a case argued by CCL President Robert S. Peck on behalf of a similar lawsuit brought by Miami, also held that cities have standing under the Fair Housing Act to bring suits for lost property taxes and increased municipal spending due to discriminatory lending practices. 

      The Court, however, left open the question of what must be pleaded to meet proximate cause and whether Miami's complaint satisfied that standard. Wells Fargo then brought a motion to dismiss in Oakland, arguing that the city failed to sufficiently plead proximate cause. The federal district court found that the Bank was correct as to the damages Oakland claimed from municipal expenditures because the city offered no statistical analysis that might support the claim, but found the regression analyses Oakland included in its complaint sufficient to meet proximate-cause requirements for its lost property-tax claim. 

      Wells Fargo appealed, and in 2020, a three-judge court unanimously held that Oakland had indeed met the proximate-cause standard in its claim for lost property taxes. Wells Fargo then petitioned for rehearing en banc with the Ninth Circuit, and the case was reheard by an 11-judge court. This time, however, the court unanimously held that Oakland could never meet the proximate cause standard that applied because the FHA was only available to direct borrowers, the federal government, and some advocacy organizations as a vehicle for challenging discrimination, a position that seemed at odds with the Supreme Court's 2017 ruling in the Miami case. 

     CCL, on behalf of Oakland, sought a stay of the mandate, which ordered the district court to dismiss the case with prejudice. Today, the Ninth Circuit granted that stay, over Wells Fargo's objection, so Oakland could seek further review in the Supreme Court.