Constitutional Law

San Diego OKs $750K Attorney Payment to Settle Cross Case

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The city council of San Diego has agreed to pay a plaintiff’s lawyer $750,000 to settle his legal bill for representing an atheist in a lengthy lawsuit over the placement of a large cross on city land.

The 6-2 vote doesn’t completely settle the 1989 constitutional case, however, according to the Union-Tribune. Although the plaintiff, Philip Paulson, died of cancer in 2006, attorney James McElroy is fighting in federal court a move to transfer the land from city to federal government control, purportedly resolving the issue of a Christian religious symbol being promoted on public property, the newspaper writes.

A federal judge ruled in May that the city had to pay the attorney $900,000 in legal fees for his work on the Mount Soledad cross case, apparently prompting the settlement.

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