- Court: Oregon Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
- Date Filed: 12-10-2020
- Case #: S065478
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Balmer, J. for the Court; En Banc; Nakamoto, J., dissenting, Nelson, J. joined
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioners challenged the rules of the Energy Facility Siting Council, and were successful on two of their arguments; they now ask for attorney’s fees. Petitioners argued that under ORS 183.497(1) they are entitled to both mandatory fees, or, alternatively, discretionary fees. They assert that they met the elements of the statute as the Council “acted without a reasonable basis in fact or law.” In turn, the Council contended that though they were unsuccessful on two of the five issues raised by petitioners, they did act reasonably. Under ORS 183.497(1)(a), “the court may…allow a petitioner reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if the court finds in favor of the petitioner.” Under ORS 20.075(1)-(2), “what counts as ‘reasonable attorney fees” is an exercise of judicial discretion based on the statutory factors” that are listed. The Court found that petitioners are not awarded mandatory fees due to exceptions in the law, but should be awarded fees for 70 hours of work that attorneys completed briefing one issue and preparing a fee petition. Attorney fees and costs awarded.