Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Racial Profiling Case Costs County Over $1 Million So Far, with More to Come

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Under federal law, the county is responsible for paying for the attorneys' fees of the plaintiffs in this case, which according to ACLU of Arizona attorney Dan Pochoda are sure to exceed those of Casey.

An appeal will add to those fees, should the plaintiffs prevail.

"If you win on appeal, you're entitled to fees both on the trial, and for all the work you did on appeal," Pochoda explained.

"It's over a seven figure amount now," he said of the amount owed plaintiffs' lawyers. "That's over a five year period with all the law firm attorneys and so forth. But the appeal will be a six figure amount, including costs and fees."

The plaintiffs did not ask for damages in Melendres, only a ruling in their favor.

Assuming Pochoda's estimates are correct, Melendres may have already cost more than $2 million (adding in what Casey and Ogletree have been paid), and if appealed, could cost the county $3 million to $4 million total.

Unlike Casey, whose payday is guaranteed, lawyers from ACLU, MALDEF, and the law firm Covington and Burling, among others, labored at the risk of not getting paid, if the Judge had sided with the defendants instead of them.

As far as an appeal goes, Pochoda called it a "guaranteed win" for the plaintiffs, should the county go forward. He claimed that Snow's 142-page decision was "appeal proof," and contained "no tricky questions of law."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons