No. 81-1374.

465 U.S. 886 (1984)


Supreme Court of United States.

Decided March 21, 1984

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Melvyn R. Leventhal, Deputy First Assistant Attorney General of New York, argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Robert Abrams, Attorney General, Dennis H. Allee, First Assistant Attorney General, Peter H. Schiff, George D. Zuckerman, Deputy Solicitor General, and Marion R. Buchbinder and Frederick K. Mehlman, Assistant Attorneys General.

Leon Silverman argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Kalman Finkel, Arthur J. Fried, John E. Kirklin, and Linda R. Blumkin.*

Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the Alliance for Justice by Laura Macklin; for the California Coalition of Welfare Rights Organizations by Mary S. Burdick and Richard A. Rothschild; for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., et al. by Jack Greenberg, James M. Nabrit III, Charles Stephen Ralston, Steven L. Winter, Fred N. Fishman, Robert H. Kapp, Norman Redlich, William L. Robinson, Norman J. Chachkin, E. Richard Larson, Burt Neuborne, Kenneth Kimerling, Joaquin G. Avila, and Morris J. Baller; for the National Education Association et al. by Michael H. Gottesman, Robert M. Weinberg, Julia Penny Clark, Robert H. Chanin, and Lawrence A. Poltrock; for the New York State Bar Association et al. by Haliburton Fales II; and for Oliver Hill et al. by Armand Derfner and Stephen P. Berzon.

JUSTICE POWELL delivered the opinion of the Court.

Title 42 U. S. C. § 1988 (1976 ed., Supp. V) provides that in federal civil rights actions "the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs." The initial estimate of a reasonable attorney's fee is properly calculated by multiplying the number of hours reasonably expended on the...

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