Friday, December 08, 2006

Carson v. Billings (9th Cir. - Dec. 8, 2006)

Did you know that the reasonable rate for the typical, very experienced civil rights lawyer in Montana is a mere $150/hour? Indeed, that extremely experienced employment attorneys in Big Sky Country typically charge only $125, $130, and $140/hour? I definitely did not.

That's nonetheless what I learned from this case. Which affirmed a decision by the district court that rejected the effort by plaintiff's counsel to obtain a reasonable hourly fee of between $195-$205/hour after successful prosecution of a federal sex discrimination claim against the Billings, Montana Police Department.

I know many lawyers in Southern California who wouldn't take a dump for $150/hour. Much less for $125/hour. Indeed, I know several paralegals who are billed out at more.

Surprising. But I guess markets are markets. You learn something new every day.

Montana ain't California. 'Nuff said.