928 F.2d 248 (8th Cir. 1991), 90-1166, Little Rock School Dist. v. Arkansas State Bd. of Educ.

Docket Nº:90-1166EA, 90-1167EA, 90-1579EA and 90-1580EA.
Citation:928 F.2d 248
Party Name:LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT; Mrs. Lorene Joshua, etc., et al.; Pulaski County Special School District No. 1, et al.; and North Little Rock School District, et al., Appellants, v. ARKANSAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, et al., Appellees, Nola Burl, etc., et al., Intervenors/Appellees. Nos. 89-2288EA, 89-2289EA, 89-2352EA, 89-2353EA, 90-1165EA,
Case Date:March 11, 1991
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 248

928 F.2d 248 (8th Cir. 1991)

LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT; Mrs. Lorene Joshua, etc., et

al.; Pulaski County Special School District No.

1, et al.; and North Little Rock School

District, et al., Appellants,

v.

ARKANSAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, et al., Appellees,

Nola Burl, etc., et al., Intervenors/Appellees.

Nos. 89-2288EA, 89-2289EA, 89-2352EA, 89-2353EA, 90-1165EA,

90-1166EA, 90-1167EA, 90-1579EA and 90-1580EA.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

March 11, 1991

Before ARNOLD, Circuit Judge, HEANEY, Senior Circuit Judge, and WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge.

Page 249

ORDER

We have before us the motion of the Joshua intervenors for an award of fees and costs against the appellee Arkansas State Board of Education. The award is sought under the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Awards Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1988.

There is no doubt that the Joshua intervenors are prevailing parties. Moreover, the Arkansas State Board of Education, which we shall refer to as the State for convenience, did not prevail on the one issue as to which it entered an appearance and filed an appellee's brief: whether the District Court erred in imposing conditions upon its approval of the financial settlement agreement. We nevertheless believe that the motion should be denied, for the following reasons, all of which, taken together, amount to special circumstances that would make such an award unjust.

1. Counsel for the Joshua intervenors have already been granted a large sum, amounting to some $3,000,000, plus awards previously made in individual appeals at earlier stages of this litigation. The State's share of this award is $750,000, plus an additional amount of $2,000,000 which it is advancing against LRSD's share of future payments from the State. These payments were made by agreement, and they covered "the work performed in this Litigation...." Settlement Agreement, p. 21 (Sept. 28, 1989). The payments were to be "due and payable on final approval ..." of the financial settlement. Id. The Joshua intervenors now have final approval of their settlement. They may not have foreseen the necessity of an appeal to preserve the settlement, but we cannot ignore the fact that counsel has been well compensated, and on a basis that was not closely tied to hours of work actually expended.

2. The Burl intervenors, not the State, presented the most significant opposition to the...

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