D. Maine Judge Discusses Differences Among Circuits in Attorney Fee Calculations
Judge Hornby in D. Maine (Nilsen v. York County, --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2005 WL 3006684 (D. Me. Nov. 10, 2005)) has just issued a very thorough opinion providing a detailed discussion of the various methods of calculating appropriate attorney fees awards across the circuits in a common fund case. He ultimately rejected the popular multi-factored tests in favor of the "market-mimicking" approach embraced by the Seventh Circuit. Applying the market-mimicking approach, Judge Hornby found that the 30% share of the $3.3 million settlement won by the civil rights plaintiffs' attorneys was too high and permitted an award of 25%.
Check out the opinion if you are interested in reading a comprehensive discussion of the various approaches the circuits take to calculating attorneys fees in common fund cases.