- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court will decide whether a judge can award more money to winning lawyers because the judge thought they did a good job.

The high court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from the state of Georgia over attorney fees for lawyers who sued to force dramatic changes in Georgia’s foster care system.

U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob awarded them $10.5 million in attorney fees, a $4.5 million enhancement on top of a $6 million award. Shoob said he increased the award because of the exceptional results that children’s advocates achieved. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn his decision.

Lawyers for Georgia say appeal courts around the nation have split on whether a judge can give lawyers extra money based on their performance.

The case is Perdue v Kenny A., 08-970.

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