Judge Orders State To Pay Lawyers More Than They Requested
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 26, 2003
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- The state has been ordered to pay fees and expenses totaling nearly $700,000 to three lawyers who sued on behalf of parents of children and adults with mental retardation.
U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock ruled earlier this week that the state would pay Neil McKittrick, Carol Rose and David Friedman $674,504 in attorneys fees and $23,112 in expenses.
That amount is $100,000 more than the lawyers had requested.
The lawyers represented parents of people who had waited for placements in community-based services, some for as long as 30 years. As part of the settlement, the Department of Mental Retardation agreed to provide services for more than 2,000 people over five years, according to the Boston Globe.
The attorneys took the case at no expense to the parents, but were allowed to seek attorney fees from the state after winning the settlement.
''People came to us and we agreed to represent them pro bono," McKittrick said. "We never charged them a penny. Because we won, we were entitled to receive those fees.''