Plaintiff’s Gay Marriage Attorney’s Fees in the Amount of $1.1 Million Have Been Requested in Federal Motion
Whether it is gay marriage equality or gay divorce & family law, attorney’s fees are the name of the game in litigation court case battles. Plaintiff’s lawyers for gay and lesbian couples in Ohio who contested the ban in Obergefell v. Hodges have submitted a federal motion to be reimbursed over a million dollars in attorney’s fees. Plaintiff’s motion also requests over fifty thousand dollars in expenses.
David Rockefeller once said that compound interest was the eighth wonder of the world. I would like to add that the math used by lawyer’s in computing attorney’s fees is probably the ninth wonder of the world. I say this because the attorneys in the gay marriage litigation are also seeking an extra 50 percent as a bonus for themselves. Some of the many legal associations queuing up for payment are the American Civil Liberties Union and the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The memorandum of points and authorities in the motion for attorney’s fees argues that these lawyers advanced the marriage equality law in America for all married gay couples and their families, therefore the extra 50% percent addition is fair because the case resulted in a landmark United States Supreme Court decision. The legal brief also states that these extraordinary results were achieved through the superior litigation work of the lawsuit’s lead trial attorneys.
Here is the Ohio Motion for Use as a Sample Litigation Pleading for Gay Marriage Attorney’s Fees:
Notice that the word “substitute” is misspelled in the case caption. You lawyers want an extra half a million dollar bonus for this low quality federal legal work product? Who was the paralegal that typed this up? I demand his name!
In fact plaintiffs in other court cases that successfully overturned state gay marriage bans are filing similar motions to recover costs and attorney’s fees. In Michigan and Kentucky lawyers are requesting around $2 million. Attorneys in Texas have requested a quarter of a million dollars.
In civil rights court cases federal law encourages filing of lawsuits designed to allow plaintiffs who win their court legal battles against the U.S. government to seek reasonable attorney’s fees and costs from the public entities they have sued in federal court. The plaintiff’s lawyers in the gay marriage cases say the fee should be enhanced because of the winning results, the social unpopularity of the lawsuit, and attorney fee awards in other cases.
Defense attorneys for the state will have an opportunity to contest the claims in court, which will of course generate even more attorney’s fees in the gay marriage issue. Usually legal bills in civil rights cases are settled by negotiation and stipulation between plaintiffs and defendant.
However litigation attorneys representing some states have decided to contest the legal fee petitions and motions they have received. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is filing oppositions to the gay marriage attorney’s fees requested by lawyers who successfully fought her appeal of the court decision that struck down Florida’s gay marriage ban.
Gay Marriage Attorney’s Fees Awarded in Florida
In August 2015 a South Carolina a federal judge issued an order to the state’s attorney general to pay $135,276 in attorney’s fees and costs to lawyers whose federal lawsuit allowed gay marriage. The judge granted the order for 89 percent of the fees and costs requested in the motion.