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A Partial Triumph Wins Access To Eaja Fees

Sunday, January 01, 2012 09:46 am


Under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), 28 U.S.C. 2412(d) & 5 U.S.C. 504 et seq., contractors* who successfully litigate against the federal government can recover attorney fees and other costs from the government. But a contractor must demonstrate that it was the "prevailing party" and evade the government's attempt to justify its actions. (*The EAJA applies only to small businesses, that is companies with a net worth not exceeding $7 million.)

Contractor must prevail in part

A prevailing party succeeds "on any significant issue in litigation which achieves some of the benefit [it] sought in bringing suit." Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. at 433 (1983). See also Tx. State Teachers Ass'n v. Garland Indep. Sch. Dist., 489 U.S. at 792 (1989); Buckhannon Bd. & Care Home, Inc. v. W. Va. Dept. of Health & Human Res., 532 U.S. 598, 604 (2001); and Al Ghanim Combined Grp. Co. Gen. Trad. & Cont. W.L.L. v. U.S., 67 Fed. Cl. 496 (2005).

In a recent case, Impresa Construziono Geom. Domenico Garufi v. U.S., Ct. Fed. Cl. No. 99-400C (Oct. 21, 2011), the contractor's bid protest action succeeded in part. The contractor wa [...]

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