When Congress signed off on providing $3.4 billion of funding for the Department of Justice to settle the 15-year-old Cobell v. Salazar suit over government mismanagement of Indian trusts, it was on the condition that the settlement capped attorneys' fees at $100 million. But the plaintiffs' attorneys filed papers with the court stating that the court has the right to ignore that limit and award as much as $223 million. The Indian Country Today coverage suggests that this framing is meant to discourage the judge from awarding less than the $99.9 million they have agreed to request. The attorneys hint that Cobell herself will ask for a $2 million incentive award above and beyond her share of the underlying settlement fund and reimbursement of millions of dollars of expenses. The court has provided preliminary approval of the class action settlement, with objections due in April for a summertime fairness hearing.
"Cobell lawyers say they deserve more"
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Center for Legal Policy at the