Thursday, February 23, 2006


Plaintiffs Attorneys Reduce Fees in Dover Case

The three legal organizations that represented the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District -- Pepper Hamilton LLP, ACLU of Pennsylvania, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State -- have agreed to reduce by more than $1 million the attorneys' fees and expenses that they are entitled to recover for their successful representation of the plaintiffs.

Judge Jones will enter an order awarding plaintiffs' attorneys more than $2 million in fees and expenses. This award reflects the amount of legal work required to vindicate plaintiffs' constitutional rights and protect their religious freedom in this important and complicated federal lawsuit.

Plaintiffs' attorneys have agreed, however, to accept $1 million in full satisfaction of that award.

They made this compromise because the people of Dover voted to remove the school-board members who supported the unconstitutional intelligent-design policy, and the new board, which is committed to acting lawfully, has many other uses for this small school district's financial resources.

The civil-rights laws of the United States permit plaintiffs' attorneys to recover their attorneys' fees when they win cases for individuals whose constitutional rights have been violated.

The law is designed to provide a way for people to secure legal assistance to vindicate their rights. It is also designed to deter public officials from committing civil-rights violations.


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