Barbour v. City of White Plains

The City of White Plains and certain individually named law-enforcement officers appealed from an award of $290,997.94 in costs, of which some $286,065.00 represented attorneys' fees, awarded in connection with a $30,000 judgment for plaintiffs ordered pursuant to an offer judgment under Rule 68. Defendants contended that the district court abused its discretion in awarding attorneys' fees because (1) their Rule 68 offer of judgment to settle "all claims" should have been interpreted to encompass costs, including attorney's fees; and (2) the fee award bore no relationship to plaintiffs' degree of success in the litigation. The court held that the Supreme Court's ruling in Marek v. Chesny compelled rejection of the first argument. As to the second, the court's "highly deferential" review of attorney's fees awards coupled with defendants' failure to adequately advance the issue, compelled its rejection. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court was affirmed. View "Barbour v. City of White Plains" on Justia Law