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Evans v. Jeff D.

United States Supreme Court
475 U.S. 717 (1986)



Jeff D. (plaintiff), representing a class of emotionally and mentally handicapped children (the class), sued Evans, the governor of Idaho (defendant) seeking injunctive relief to improve the treatment of institutionalized class members. The representation agreement between the class and the class’s attorney, a member of the Idaho Legal Aid Society, contained no provision regarding attorney’s fees. Prior to trial, Idaho proposed a settlement that granted most of the sought-after injunctive relief but specifically waived attorney’s fees from the settlement. The parties conditioned the waiver on the district court's approval. The district court approved the settlement, including the waiver provision, and denied the class's motion to submit a bill of costs and fees for the court's consideration. On appeal from the district court's order denying attorney's fees and costs, the court of appeals invalidated the fee waiver and remanded the matter to the district court for a determination of reasonable fees. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari upon Idaho's petition.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

Dissent (Brennan, J.)

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