OKLAHOMA: Court Awards $300K In Legal Fees To Attorneys In Marriage Case

So far various federal courts around the country have ordered states to pay about $5M in legal fees to the attorneys representing winning same-sex marriage plaintiffs. On Thursday that amount grew in Oklahoma. Via Tulsa World:

Tulsa County will be on the hook for nearly $300,000 in attorney fees that were incurred during its unsuccessful defense of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. U.S. District Judge Terence Kern awarded attorneys for a lesbian couple $298,742.77 in fees and costs related to the county’s appeal of a lower court ruling. Kern found that the attorneys for Mary and Sharon Bishop-Baldwin “expended reasonable hours on the appeal” and “exercised sound billing judgment.” Three attorneys for the couple had requested $368,827 in attorney fees and $1,942 in costs. Attorneys for Tulsa County argued that just over $108,000 was a more appropriate amount for the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Tulsa County was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. Earlier this year the state GOP failed to advance a bill that would require the state government to reimburse any Oklahoma county for legal fees incurred in defense of the state constitution.

Brian Brown says that the losers should not pay: “This is an outrageous ruling. A rush to judgment on a case that could very well be reversed by the US Supreme Court. We encourage the state not to pay anything until we get a ruling on the underlying issue from the US Supreme Court. Even then, it is wrong to reward activists for challenging a validly enacted constitutional amendment.”