Attorney Fees

Judge Tentatively Awards $724K in Attorney Fees for Inmate's Successful Sex-Change Suit


Lawyers who persuaded a federal judge to order a state-paid sex-change operation for a Massachusetts inmate will earn more than $700,000 for their efforts.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mark Wolf said Wednesday he had tentatively decided on an award of $724,000 to the lawyers who represented inmate Michelle Lynn Kosilek, the Boston Herald reports.

Wolf said Kosilek’s legal team had gone without pay for 10 years and “persuaded a skeptical judge.” The lawyers “performed brilliantly,” Wolf said, and the fees are “richly deserved.”

Kosilek’s legal team was led by Frances Cohen of Bingham McCutchen, the Boston Globe reports. Also representing Kosilek is the Law Office of Joseph L. Sulman, according to a court document. The lawyers have offered to waive attorney fees if the state Department of Corrections drops its appeal and pays for Kosilek’s sex-change surgery.

Kosilek was convicted of killing her wife in 1990; she was known as Robert Kosilek at the time.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Counsel Will Waive Hefty Legal Fees If Mass. Doesn’t Appeal Inmate’s Sex-Change Surgery Award”

ABAJournal.com: “In Landmark Ruling, Federal Judge Says Sex-Change Surgery for Murder Inmate Is Medically Necessary”

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