Friday, May 8, 2009

Pro Bono Attorneys May Receive Attorney's Fees

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has held that attorney's fees may be awarded in family law cases even though the legal services were performed by a non-profit legal services organization. The court concluded that important policy considerations weigh in favor of such fee awards, here made to the House of Ruth. Relying on language from a Montana case, "the 'principle of providing equal access of justice to all' warrants the award of attorney's fees to persons represented by legal services organizations or a pro bono attorney."

...we hold that a court may, in its discretion and after considering the requisite statutory factors, award reasonable attorney's fees in a case where a party is represented by a non-profit legal services organization, or a pro bono attorney, irrespective of whether a fee agreement exists between the client and the attorney.

(Mike Frisch)

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