Attorney Fees in Civil Rights Cases

August 22, 2012 | Blog

It is in your best interest to have a Fairfield County civil rights lawyer handling your case, as civil rights violation cases often involve complex litigation. Fortunately, given the importance of your civil liberties granted by the U.S. Constitution, it is one of the few areas of law where you can recover your attorney’s fees.

How the system ordinarily works.
Typically speaking, attorney fees are not awarded in legal matters.Rather, it is usually up to each individual party to pay their respective lawyers, regardless of who won or lost the case. However, civil rights litigation is an exception to this general rule, as mandated by the Civil Rights Attorney’s Fee Award Act of 1976. This Act allows the Court to award reasonable attorney fees to parties that prevail in their matters brought pursuant to civil rights section 1983, which provides for persons to bring federal and state civil rights actions.

Factors to Consider Regarding Reasonable Attorney Fees
The court has the authority to award to reasonable attorney fees to your Fairfield County civil rights lawyer. Authority exists for the Court to consider the following factors when determining whether fees are reasonable:

1) The documented time involved in the case;
2) The regular lawyer fees charged by him or her;
3) The results obtained in the case;
4) The reputation and experience of the Fairfield county civil rights lawyer;
5) The monetary awards in similar cases;
6) The novelty, desirability, and difficulty of the legal issues pursued;
7) The lost opportunity cost to the lawyer;
8 ) The length and nature of relationship between the client and the Fairfield county civil rights lawyer;
9) The skill and expertise needed to pursue the matter; and
10) Whether the lawyer fee was contingent or fixed.

Limitations with Frivolous Claims
Another important consideration regarding attorney fees is whether or not the legal claims brought were legitimate, not frivolous claims. There has been a split in decisions handed down by courts regarding frivolous claims. Some courts have allowed an award of attorney fees if any of the claims prevailed. However, other courts have decided not to award attorney fees if any claims were determined to be frivolous. A Fairfield County civil rights lawyer will know how to identify and pursue only legitimate civil rights claims on your behalf.

We Can Help
If you have any questions regarding attorney’s fee with respect to your civil rights legal matter, you should consult with a Fairfield County civil rights lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a complimentary consultation with Fairfield County civil rights lawyer Mitchell Baker, please call (914) 681-9500.