Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gov't reminds court that NOM LOST its case against the IRS

On August 8, 2014 the US Attorney filed a response to a request by National Organization for Marriage for reimbursement of nearly $700,000 in attorneys' fees. The fees, which are supported by time logs and affidavits from the lawyers involved, were allegedly disbursed in connection with NOM's litigation against the Internal Revenue Service.

The government's response is that the United States was the prevailing party in the litigation. NOM, therefore, is entitled to $0 which relieves the court of having to perform substantive analysis of the sums involved.

In a settlement of this matter, NOM agreed to receive $50,000 in damages. Therefore, any reimbursement below $650,000 (in round numbers) represents a direct loss to NOM. That presupposes that all of the sums were actually disbursed and are not contingent on reimbursement. With the sometimes truth-challenged John Eastman involved, one never knows for sure.

Despite losing all the significant issues in this case and settling a damages claim of hundreds of thousands of dollars for $50,000, the National Organization for Marriage, Inc. (“NOM”) now seeks over $691,000 in attorneys’ fees. The Court should deny NOM’s motion in its entirety. The Court need not delve into NOM’s massive bills and complex algorithms to determine a reasonable attorney fee, because NOM is not the “prevailing party” — either with respect to the amount in controversy or the most significant issue pled. Regarding the amount in controversy, NOM has cherry picked the actual damages it was claiming during the course of this suit and, in fact, received less than half of what it was claiming when all amounts are properly considered. Also, NOM’s #E9E9E9view of the most significant issue is belied by the face of its sworn Verified Complaint. Under both analyses, therefore, NOM is not a prevailing party. The Court’s analysis should end there — NOM is not entitled to any attorneys’ fees.

The United States was also “substantially justified” in defending this case, which included debunking claims of governmental conspiracy and gross negligence. …

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