Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Dec 16, 2019

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

If you want to enforce your civil rights with a lawsuit, finding a civil rights lawyer is extremely important. Your right to be free from, for instance, discrimination under Title VII of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, or any other piece of civil rights legislation, is best protected with a civil rights lawyer. If you are worried about attorney’s fees in your civil rights lawsuit, don’t be: though they may be considerable, you generally can recover your attorney’s fees as long as you are the prevailing party.

Recovering Attorney’s Fees

The prevailing party in a civil rights case is the party who wins the case. As the plaintiff, this would mean that you would need to prove that some type of civil rights violation had taken place. This could take the form of:

  • Overt discrimination (i.e. failure to be hired or promoted; being fired, or otherwise being discriminated against in any of the terms or conditions of your employment),
  • Hostile environment discrimination wherein your working conditions are made uncomfortable as a result of your protected status, and/or
  • Disparate impact discrimination, which means that there was a test or some other qualification or requirement at work that had a greater impact on people because of some type of protected status.

No matter what type of discrimination a plaintiff is alleging occurred, the prevailing party is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees if he wins. This rule is in place because the court wishes to encourage a plaintiff to come forward and protect his civil rights.

Reasonable fees are, of course, going to vary depending on the circumstances and the particular civil rights lawyer you have hired. As a general matter, however, the fees must be reasonable when considering 1) the amount of time that the civil rights lawyer spent building and presenting a case, and 2) the prevailing hourly rate in the state and field where the attorney is practicing.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Getting Help for Your Civil Rights Lawsuit

If you are concerned about attorney’s fees in your case, the best person to ask about such fees is a civil rights lawyer. They can explain to you exactly how attorney’s fees are assessed and can also help you determine whether the attorney’s fees in your case are likely to be reimbursed.