Photo of Sandy Rosen

On October 14, 2009 the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Perdue v. Kenny A. a case with major implications for the ability of victims of civil rights violations to access the criminal justice system.  Federal law has long recognized that such access requires the ability for victims to seek compensation for their attorneys’ fees from the parties found liable for civil rights violations.  The specific question now before the Court is whether federal courts can apply ordinary market principles to set civil rights fee amounts based on performance and results obtained. RBG’s Sandy Rosen led the effort to file an amicus brief on behalf of small private law firms around the country that rely on statutory fee awards in public interest litigation. The brief was filed in support of Children’s Rights Inc. and Bondurant, Mixon & Elmore who had won an enhancement for their work on behalf of abused and neglected children in Georgia’s foster care system.  A story in the National Law Journal on October 13 highlighted RBG’s role.