The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday found a defendant doesn’t need to obtain a favorable judgment on the merits of a Title VII claim to be a prevailing party, but declined to decide if the EEOC must pay $4.7 million in attorneys’ fees. Here, attorneys tell Law360 why the new rule is significant.
Peter Stergios, McCarter & English LLP
“The Supreme Court applied common sense here, even as it remanded for reexamination the legal fees portion of the dispute. This portends counsels’ rethinking the issue of fee recovery when they prevail on a basis that precludes further suit, even if the basis for victory was something other than the non-existence of statutory discrimination. The decision should serve as a disincentive for plaintiffs to pursue claims that are barred by doctrines such as limitation of time or other preclusive reason, and encourage defendants to seek fees more aggressively despite courts’ reluctance to grant such relief in the past.”