U.S. Supreme Court

SCOTUS litigators charge as much as $1,800 an hour, filing says

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A fee request by U.S. Supreme Court litigator Thomas Goldstein, the founder of SCOTUSblog, puts his hourly fee at $1,100 and says it is reasonable.

Goldstein is seeking fees for his work in a Supreme Court case that struck down a Los Angeles law requiring hotel operators to make guest registries available to police, the National Law Journal (sub. req.) reports. Goldstein’s firm, Goldstein & Russell, represented the hotel owners challenging the law.

Goldstein’s firm is seeking $305,000 under the federal law allowing the recovery of attorney fees in successful civil rights suits against the government, according to the story. In addition to his hourly fee of $1,100, he lists $750 an hour for partner Kevin Russell and $600 an hour for partner Tejinder Singh.

Goldstein listed hourly rates of other top lawyers in comparison. Paul Clement of Bancroft charges $1,350 per hour, Theodore Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher charges $1,800 an hour, and E. Joshua Rosenkranz of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe earns $1,020 an hour.

Goldstein said he tried to keep expenses low in part by relying on seven students from the Harvard Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. The law school is seeking nearly $150,000 in fees for the students’ work.

The original lawyer for the hotel operators is seeking $317,000 in fees. His billing rate is $750 an hour.

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