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LOUISIANA v. MISSISSIPPI ET AL.

April 2, 1984

LOUISIANA
v.
MISSISSIPPI ET AL.



[ 466 U.S. Page 921]

Application of the Special Master for compensation in the amount of $64,829.50 is hereby granted. One-half of this amount shall be paid to the Special Master by the plaintiff and one-half by the defendants. [For earlier order herein, see, e.g., 464 U.S. 888.]

CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER, dissenting in part.

The Special Master has applied for $64,829.50 covering fees for himself and six persons who assisted him, only two of whom were lawyers. The total amount requested can be broken down as follows:

Special Master 143.6 hrs. at $200 $28,720.00

 Mr. Witt

(assoc. 4 yrs. ) 240.9 hrs. at 125 30,112.50

Mr. Amber

(1st yr. assoc.) 11.6 hrs. at 70 812.00

Others

(summer law clerks) 103.7 hrs. at 50 5,185.00

$64,829.50

A Special Master of this Court is a surrogate of the Court and in that sense the service performed is an important public duty of high order in much the same way as is serving in the Judiciary. I do not suggest that Special Masters should serve without compensation, as for example, Senior Federal Judges have done for a number of years in such cases, but I believe the public service aspect of the appointment is a factor that is not to be wholly ignored in determining the reasonableness of fees charged in a case like this.

[ 466 U.S. Page 922]

     The parties apparently agreed with the Special Master as to a rate of $200 per hour for his services; hence no question as to his charge is before the Court. The private defendants and Mississippi have questioned the rates at which the two lawyer associates, and the four non-lawyer assistants were billed, and the total number of hours charged for their services. Mississippi, for example, stated that it has "no objection to the allowance and payment of such fees as this Honorable Court may find equitable . . . taking into consideration ...


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