Perdue v. Kenny A
- Case Date: 6/29/2009
- Project Name: Reining in the Plaintiffs' Bar
On April 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court imposed strict limits on attorney fees awarded to plaintiffs who prevail in suits arising under statutes that contain fee-shifting provisions. In doing so, it overturned a district court order granting plaintiffs’ attorneys a $4.5 million fee enhancement in addition to the $6 million fee awarded for hours worked. The district court had ordered the defendant (the State of Georgia) to pay the enhancement because of what it perceived as the attorneys’ “superior performance” in negotiating a settlement. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging the Court to crack down on the too-frequent award of attorney fee enhancements. The Court agreed with WLF that fee awards are presumptively limited to the “lodestar” amount (a reasonable hourly fee times the number of hours worked) and virtually never should be subject to enhancement above that amount based on a judge’s belief that the plaintiffs’ lawyers were particularly effective.
More Information and Downloads:
6/29/2009: Download WLF Amicus Brief
Litigation Update: Court Limits Attorney Fees Awarded Under Federal Fee-Shifting Statutes