Private Attorneys:

Selected Attorneys' Fee Awards Against Nine Federal Agencies in 1993 and 1994

GGD-96-18: Published: Oct 31, 1995. Publicly Released: Dec 4, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on selected attorneys' fee awards against nine federal agencies in 1993 and 1994, focusing on the number of cases and amount of attorneys' fees awarded over $10,000.

GAO found that: (1) the 9 federal agencies reported 441 plaintiff attorneys' fee awards that totalled about $20 million; (2) the highest single fee awarded during this 2-year period was $800,000 against the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the highest hourly attorney rate was $320 per hour for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Treasury, and the General Services Administration; (3) the agencies reported that 4 of the attorneys' fee awards were based on a percentage of the plaintiff's award, 179 awards were based on hourly rates, and 263 awards were based on lump-sum payments; (4) of the 441 attorneys' fee awards against the government, 210 were from administrative proceedings and 231 were from judicial proceedings; (5) there were differences in the reported amounts of attorneys' fee awards due to administrative and reporting problems associated with the annual reports; and (6) attorneys' fee awards paid from the Judgement Fund totalled $11.65 million in fiscal year 1993.

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