Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

Cobell plaintiffs oppose Republican bill to restrict attorney fees





The plaintiffs in the Indian trust fund lawsuit said a bill to limit their attorney fee threatens the $3.4 billion settlement to the case.

The settlement leaves the final decision on fees to a federal judge. But House Republicans, angry over a court filing that requests $223 million, introduced H.R.887 to limit fees to $50 million.

"Political interference in the judicial process would harm 500,000 individual Indians, undermine our system of government and jeopardize the settlement in its entirety," the plaintiffs said in a statement.

In the settlement, the plaintiffs and the Obama administration agreed not to appeal a fee award between $50 million and $99.9 million. Republican lawmakers say the plaintiffs, in Congressional testimony, promised to limit fees to $99.9 million.

The House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs held a hearing on the bill yesterday. No one from the Cobell team or the Obama administration testified.

Get the Story:
GOP bill would reopen debate on Indian trust settlement legal fees (The Great Falls Tribune 4/6)
Legal fees debated in $3.4 billion Indian trust case settlement (The Oklahoman 4/6)
Panel hears plan to cap fees in $3.4B settlement (AP 4/5)
House Republicans Want Legal Fees Capped in Cobell Case (The Blog of Legal Times 4/5)

Committee Notice:
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 887 (April 5, 2011)

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