Does anyone believe that, had Texas won the case, they would not be demanding legal costs from the plaintiffs,,,“Had the State of Texas not deprived our clients of their constitutional rights, they in turn would not have had to engage attorneys, and this motion for attorneys’ fees and costs would have been unnecessary. If the State is not held accountable for the legal costs it caused to be incurred, then it will be more likely to engage in similar objectionable conduct in the future.”
The attorneys for same-sex couples who successfully challenged Texas’ gay marriage ban in federal court are seeking nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in fees and costs from the state.Texas Same-Sex Marriage Lawyers Seek $740,000 from State
In a 27-page motion filed Friday, attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in San Antonio asked U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia to award them $720,794 in fees and $20,203 in costs.
Akin Gump represented two same-sex couples in De Leon v. Perry, which was filed in October 2013 and resolved pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. Under federal law, prevailing parties in civil rights cases are typically eligible for fees and costs.
See also:: Lawyers: Texas owes $741,000 in legal fees in gay marriage case
Lawyers for the attorney general’s office are expected to argue that the Texas couples cannot be considered “prevailing parties” because Texas law changed as a result of a June opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court, a legal action they were not part of, the motion said.
But Neel Lane, the lead lawyer for the two couples, disputed that assertion, saying their lawsuit prompted Garcia to declare the Texas ban unconstitutional in February 2014 — delaying enforcement of his ruling only while Texas appealed. The lawsuit eventually led Garcia to issue a permanent injunction barring Texas from enforcing a state law and a constitutional amendment that prohibited gay marriage, Lane said.
“Same-sex marriages in Texas is now lawful, and plaintiffs and other same-sex couples are no longer denied their fundamental right to marry and have their marriages recognized,” Lane told Garcia.