Attorneys ask for $3M in legal fees

Albany

After winning $1 judgments for their clients, lawyers for a group of felons seek more than $3 million in fees from state taxpayers.

The lawyers are asking U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff for $3,093,223 for representing six defendants who were held after their prison terms expired under a Pataki administration initiative to keep violent sexual predators off the streets. The sexual offenders were involuntarily committed to psychiatric hospitals.

The lawyers’ motion for payment, dated Sept. 30, argues that despite the nominal judgment awarded in their suit, which ended in July, the legal team is entitled to full payment because of the significance of the legal questions explored.

“I think the trial did achieve a success that goes beyond the monetary recovery and accomplishes an important objective — to make state officials that much more circumspect when they’re taking actions that potentially take away people’s constitutional rights,” said attorney Ameer Benno.

Benno seeks $1,273,890 for 2,725 hours of work on the case, the largest amount sought by any of the 12 lawyers seeking fees. Second on the list is Reza Rezvani, who seeks $1,143,645 for 2,446 hours of work.

Benno and Jeffrey Rothman, who seeks $363,013, argued to the court that ………..

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