Texas should be ordered to pay almost $741,000 in legal fees after losing the court fight to preserve its ban on same-sex marriage, lawyers told a federal judge Friday.
Lawyers for two couples who sued to overturn the state ban argued that they are owed $720,794 in attorney fees — a figure they said came at a substantial discount from rates they typically charge — and $20,203 in costs for expert witnesses, travel and other expenses.
The money is owed because the couples were the prevailing parties in an “important civil rights case,” the lawyers told U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in a motion filed Friday.
Their clients, the lawyers said, “achieved overwhelming success” — a permanent injunction barring Texas from enforcing its ban on same-sex marriage “for all gay and lesbian Texans who seek to marry.”
State lawyers will have an opportunity to contest the request for legal fees and have already lodged several objections, the motion acknowledged.
Lawyers for the attorney general’s office are expected to argue that the Texas couples cannot be considered “prevailing parties” because Texas law changed as a result of a June opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court, a legal action they were not part of, the motion said.