Perdue v. Kenny A. Decided

August 28, 2009

Whether a district court may award enhanced attorney’s fees to a prevailing plaintiff in a civil rights action based on extraordinary performance and exceptional results.

Federal law authorizes the award of attorney’s fees to a prevailing plaintiff to encourage meritorious civil rights claims. The calculation of such fees typically begins by calculating a “lodestar” based on the reasonable hours spent on the case multiplied by a reasonably hourly rate for the attorney’s time. The Supreme Court has recognized, however, that the lodestar amount can be enhanced in appropriate cases to reflect extraordinary performance and exceptional results. Joining with other civil rights groups, the ACLU amicus brief urges the Court to adhere to that standard and find that it has been met in this case.

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