High Court Sets 'But For' Standard For Attys' Fees

Law360, New York (June 6, 2011, 3:08 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that in civil rights cases where the plaintiff brings both frivolous and nonfrivolous claims, the defendant can only recover those attorneys' fees he would not have incurred but for the frivolous claims.

The high court unanimously held that Section 1988 of the Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Awards Act of 1976 allows a defendant to recover reasonable attorneys' fees incurred because of, but only because of, a frivolous claim, resolving a circuit split over the proper allocation of fees under the...
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