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Attorneys' Fees Awarded, Spent on Pack of Gum

If you successfully represent a female prison inmate who was forced to give birth while shackled, in her civil rights claim against the state, you might expect to have your fees awarded as part of the judgment.

Apparently, you'd be disappointed. Shawanna Nelson Lumsey won her lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Corrections (see this New York Times story for background), but was awarded only nominal damages of $1. And because the Prison Litigation Reform Act caps fee awards at 150 percent of damages, her attorneys were entitled to only $1.50, rather than the $140,000 they had requested. Sucktown.

If you can't muster any sympathy for Lumsey's attorneys, consider the fact that Lumsey herself was recently fired from her job based on publicity regarding her lawsuit.

Happy Constitution Day.

Posted by Eric Lipman on September 17, 2010 at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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