California Code of Civil Procedure 873.120 is the California partition statute that addresses the procedure for a partition referee to employ an attorney in a partition action in California. The statute provides that:
(a) The referee may employ an attorney only with the approval of the court pursuant to Section 873.110.
In other words, the court may approve the employment of an attorney for the referee only on written application stating the attorney’s name and the necessity for the employment. See Authority of Referee, 12 Witkin, Summary 11th Real Prop § 76. Such a request can seemingly be done when requesting the employment of the referee for a more efficient result.
Law Revision Commission Comments to California Code of Civil Procedure § 873.120
In 1976, the California Law Revision Commission explained California Code of Civil Procedure § 873.120 as follows:
Section 873.120 is new. It is derived from Rule 528 of the California Rules of Court (employment of an attorney by a receiver).
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