U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled Idaho must pay over $400,000 to the team of lawyers that fought to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage and won.
“Simply put, the case was neither easy nor ordinary,” Dale said. “It is therefore not surprising that plaintiffs employed a team of experienced attorneys to five up the many legal tasks.”
The lead attorney billed $400 an hour and had over 600 hours recorded. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and attorney Christopher Rich said the six lawyers working on the case took too long and cost too much.
Dale, however, disagreed.
“Whatever this case lacked in procedural complications or disputed issues of material fact, it surely made up in legal complexity,” Dale wrote. “After all, the case involved constitutional issues of first impression not only in Idaho, but in all district courts in the Ninth Circuit.”
Though she did agree there was some improper block-billing from the six attorneys, she didn’t take the state’s suggestion of slashing the bill hours by 25 percent, but instead by 10 percent.
Gay marriage became legal on October 15 in Idaho.