Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

D.C. ordered to pay more than $1 million in Heller fees

Written By: Bob - Dec• 30•11

Oppressing their citizens just got costly for the District of Columbia.

The District of Columbia has been ordered to pay more than $1 million in attorneys’ fees as a result of a historic gun case that was ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dick Heller sued the city in 2003 over its ban on handgun ownership and the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ban in June 2008, saying it violated the Second Amendment.

A federal judge on Thursday issued an opinion awarding Heller’s attorneys $1,137,072.27 in fees and expenses. The attorneys had argued they should be awarded $3.1 million. Attorneys for the city said the figure should be closer to $840,000.

As bad as the bill is, it could have been far worse; the judgement was arguably in favor of the city by so deeply undercutting what Heller’s attorney’s argued they were due. Still, it’s hard to argue Heller’s lead attorney, Alan Gura, will go into poverty with a fee that still comes in at $420/hr.

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  1. I’d say Gura’s rates are reasonable. I do engineering consulting. My rates are only $125/hr, but no one will go to jail or be executed if I don’t do my job well. The worst is likely to be monetary costs to the client. I have no problem with the rates he originally asked for, and think he was probably underpaid.

  2. Chris says:

    I believe that the local Republicans need to keep this information foremost in their campaign against the Democrat mayor and all Democrats running in the city. It is money the city can’t afford to be spending IN ADDITION to paying their own lawyers.

    If they had given their law-abiding citizens their rights from the start the money would not have been wasted.