NELA Amicus Brief: Hithon v. Tyson Foods, Inc. (Supporting Attorney’s Fees Petition)

Posted By: Pedro A. Valverde October 25, 2013 5:26 pm
Posted In: NELA Amicus Briefs
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Topic : Attorneys Fees  Federal Appellate Courts : 11th Circuit  Admin : Amicus

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NELA Vice President Alicia K. Haynes and NELA members Kenneth D. Haynes and Eric Schnapper have litigated the famous Ash and Hithon v. Tyson Foods case since December 1996. Their clients prevailed through two successful jury trials, endured three appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (in the 2011 appeal, they prevailed with a reversal in part en banc), and made new law with the landmark decision in Ash v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 546 U.S. 454 (2006). On March 19, 2013, the trial court refused to award attorney’s fees for their work as reflected in their fee petition, slashed their hours by 80% across the board, and awarded just $281,103.25, or 14% of the $1,981,678.00 originally sought. NELA's amicus brief urges the Eleventh Circuit to vacate the fee determination and remand for a more detailed explanation of the fee reductions. The brief asks the court to keep an eye on the goal of encouraging competent attorneys to accept civil rights cases. The brief notes that failure to encourage competent attorneys to take contingent cases will lead to an increase in the number of claimants who proceed pro se. NELA extends its gratitude to NELA members Margaret A. Harris (TX) and Richard R. Renner (DC) for authoring the brief on NELA’s behalf.

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