Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Heller attorneys seek $3.5 million in fees from D.C.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs who successfully challenged Washington, D.C.'s draconian ban on operable firearms in the home have asked a federal judge to award them reasonable attorney's fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1988 in the amount of $3.5 million for prevailing in their landmark civil rights case (D.C. v. Heller). The amount sought includes a 2x "performance enhancement" multiplier for the "exceptional" nature of the case.

Read the plaintiff attorneys memorandum here (PDF).

Note the level of funding necessary to bring a case like this all the way to the Supreme Court: $1.75 million in fees (assuming no multiplier, as such multipliers are rarely awarded), plus over $13 thousand in costs (court filing fees, travel expenses, outside research costs, printing and photocopying expenses, postage, mailing, and FedEx/UPS/courier expenses, etc.), all incurred over six years of litigation. And this was a relatively small team of lawyers. In addition, of course, if they lost they wouldn't get to recover any of their attorney's fees or costs.

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