According to SCOTUS Blog, the ABA Journal, and other sources (see the citations within Debra Cassens Weiss’s ABA Journal article), the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted certiorari in Perdue v. Kenny A., et al., Case No. 08-970. The appeal involves an attorneys fee award to attorneys who successfully prosecuted a class action on behalf of thousands of foster children in Georgia’s two most populous counties, Fulton and DeKalb. The lawsuit resulted in consent decrees that require significant reforms to the State’s and counties’ foster care systems. Although the case involves an action brought by attorneys for a non-profit public interest organization and their cooperating counsel, the outcome of the Supreme Court case could have broad repercussions on the attorneys fees awardable in a variety of cases in federal court, including run-of-the-mill class actions. The Court accepted review of the following question:
Can a reasonable attorney’s fee award under a federal fee-shifting statute ever be enhanced based solely on qualify of performance and results obtained when these factors already are included in the lodestar calculation?
For more information on the history of the case with links to key documents, see childwelfare.net: