6 Sep 2015

Texas should be ordered to pay almost $741,000 in legal fees after losing the court fight to preserve its ban on same-sex marriage, lawyers told a federal judge Friday.

Texas should be ordered to pay almost $741,000 in legal fees after losing the court fight to preserve its ban on same-sex marriage, lawyers told a federal judge Friday.
Lawyers for two couples who sued to overturn the state ban argued that they are owed $720,794 in attorney fees — a figure they said came at a substantial discount from rates they typically charge — and $20,203 in costs for expert witnesses, travel and other expenses.
The money is owed because the couples were the prevailing parties in an “important civil rights case,” the lawyers told U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in a motion filed Friday. 
Their clients, the lawyers said, “achieved overwhelming success” — a permanent injunction barring Texas from enforcing its ban on same-sex marriage “for all gay and lesbian Texans who seek to marry.”
State lawyers will have an opportunity to contest the request for legal fees and have already lodged several objections, the motion acknowledged.
Lawyers for the attorney general’s office are expected to argue that the Texas couples cannot be considered “prevailing parties” because Texas law changed as a result of a June opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court, a legal action they were not part of, the motion said.
But Neel Lane, the lead lawyer for the two couples, disputed that assertion, saying their lawsuit prompted Garcia to declare the Texas ban unconstitutional in February 2014 — delaying enforcement of his ruling only while Texas appealed. The lawsuit eventually led Garcia to issue a permanent injunction barring Texas from enforcing a state law and a constitutional amendment that prohibited gay marriage, Lane said.
“Same-sex marriages in Texas is now lawful, and plaintiffs and other same-sex couples are no longer denied their fundamental right to marry and have their marriages recognized,” Lane told Garcia.
The legal bill included 1,707 hours of attorney and paralegal time spent on the case, excluding work of more than 15 lawyers and paralegals who provided short-term help, the motion said.

0 comments:

Post a Comment