Court Rules Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Entitled to More Than Just Contingency Fee After Jury Awards Nominal Damages


Suppose you just defended against a discrimination and harassment lawsuit by two former female employees. The jury found that discrimination and harassment had occurred. But the jury awarded one employee only $1600 in economic damages and nothing for emotional distress. For the other employee, the jury did not award any damages.

Most employers would take that result in a heartbeat after jury trial.

Are the employees’ attorneys entitled to attorneys fees? In the vast majority of cases, the answer is “yes”; an award of attorneys fees traditionally goes along with a finding of discrimination.

But how much? In one case, counsel for the employees sought fees around $160,000 (or about 100 times the actual award of damages). The trial court disagreed and relied on the one-third contingency provision in the engagement agreement between counsel and the plaintiffs. $533 if you’re playing at home.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Pullman & Comley, LLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Pullman & Comley, LLC on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.