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September 18, 2007

Is it still pro-bono if you're seeking legal fees?

The Seattle Times asks the question. I'm thinking that the public's notion of pro-bono differs considerably from that of these lawyers.

Lawyers at Davis Wright Tremaine didn't charge a parent group for seven years of work on a U.S. Supreme Court case against Seattle Public Schools: They took the case pro bono.

But now that the firm is trying to collect $1.8 million in legal fees from the school district, several national legal experts say the term — technically, "pro bono publico," meaning "for the public good" — may no longer apply.

The firm's effort has put a local lens on a national debate: If attorneys get paid for pro bono work, is it still pro bono?


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posted by Purp at 01:56 PM

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