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Attorney Fees

Public-Interest Lawyers Seek Fee Rehearing

Posted May 29, 2007 8:48 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Lawyers and public-interest groups want the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a decision limiting attorney fees in public-interest cases.

Groups supporting the motion for a rehearing include the Urban Justice Center, Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council and affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to Adam Liptak of the New York Times (sub. req.).

The appeals court ruled in a voting-rights case last month that lawyers may be paid partly in “non-monetary returns” when they win cases that boost their “experience, reputation or achievement of the attorneys’ own interests and agendas.”

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher had sought attorney fees of $445,000 in the case, but the panel awarded only $133,000. The firm told the newspaper it was willing to work for free only if it lost the case.


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