Civil Rights

Lawyer in School Webcam Spy Case Wants $418K in Legal Fees Now as Case Continues

A lawyer representing a teenage high school student and his family in a would-be class action over alleged illegal spying via school-district-issued laptop computer webcams says he can ill afford to continue with the high-profile civil rights case without being paid.

But because a federal judge has ordered the Lower Merion School District to stop using the webcams, as the federal lawsuit Mark Haltzman filed in February sought, his client is already a prevailing party in the ongoing Eastern District of Pennsylvania case, the attorney says in a court filing. Hence, he argues, the district should be required to ante up for the more than $418,850.60 he has already racked up in legal fees, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Much of that amount is for Haltzman’s own time, at a billable rate of $425 per hour.

Haltzman had expected to be paid out of a class action settlement, he tells the newspaper, but because the school district is now contesting the class action status of the case that issue could easily drag on for a year or so.

Attorney Henry Hockeimer Jr. represents the district. He tells the newspaper it hasn’t yet decided whether to oppose the request for payment of Haltzman’s fees.

Earlier coverage: “Filing: School District Took Thousands of Pics of Students at Home Via Laptop Webcams” “Ballard Spahr Bill Near $750K in Ongoing School Laptop Webcam Case”

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.