Liset Marquez, Staff Writer
Created: 08/28/2011 08:22:28 PM PDT

ONTARIO – A San Bernardino County Superior Court judge is expected to decide, possibly as early as today, if the city and Wal-Mart are responsible for paying the attorney fees for residents who opposed the project in the northwest side of town.

Wal-Mart and city officials were entangled in a legal battle with the Ontario Mountain Village Association since the City Council approved the supercenter in 2007.

On Aug. 3, after a lengthy battle, the courts cleared the city and Wal-mart in the lawsuit.

Cory Briggs, the attorney for the homeowners group opposed to the project, has asked the city and Wal-Mart to pay him $487,683 in fees.

“My intention is to issue a written ruling. I already have a draft. It is fairly lengthy, and I hope to get that out in two to three days,” said Superior Court Judge Donald Alvarez at a hearing Thursday in San Bernardino.

Alvarez noted that all of the environmental issues raised by the association were struck down except one, which ultimately required the city to make changes to handle truck traffic at Mountain Avenue and Fifth Street.

City Attorney Michelle Oulette has previously said, “Wal-Mart and the city vigorously reject the claim,” that they owe Briggs’ fees.

Attorneys for Wal-Mart and the city argued Thursday that Briggs was not successful in proving his case. The attorneys also had an issue with how Briggs outlined his invoice, stating it was not clearly stated exactly how he came up with the fees.

Briggs said there were no invoices for the lawsuit because he took it on as a contingency basis. In his fees, Briggs said he listed the staff that worked on the case and broke it down by tasks they were assigned.

To read entire story, click here.