Supremes Rule Prisoners Must Pay More to Lawyers When Winning Civil Rights Suits

In yet another 5-4 SCOTUS decision (which has to imbue you with a sense of confidence in the whole objective nature of Rule of Law), the black-robed Supremes have determined that if a prisoner wins a civil rights lawsuit, that the prisoner must pay the lawyers 25 percent of the award, as opposed to having the defendent(s) paying the full cost of the prisoners’ lawyers (as is the case in most lawsuits).

From Seattle Times

Supreme Court rules against prisoner in lawyer fee case

A Supreme Court ruling will mean that prisoners who win civil rights lawsuits against their jailers will generally be handing over more of their winnings to their lawyers.

Lower courts had been split over how much federal law requires prisoners to pay their lawyers after winning money in those cases. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday that courts must apply the prisoner’s winnings to pay attorney fees but cap the amount at 25 percent of the prisoner’s award. The defendants pay the rest of the lawyer’s fee.

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