Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557, 10 (1992)

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Opinion of the Court

the lodestar model." Venegas v. Mitchell, 495 U. S. 82, 87 (1990). We have done so, it must be noted, even though the lodestar model often (perhaps, generally) results in a larger fee award than the contingent-fee model. See, e. g., Report of the Federal Courts Study Committee 104 (Apr. 2, 1990) (lodestar method may "give lawyers incentives to run up hours unnecessarily, which can lead to overcompensation"). For example, in Blanchard v. Bergeron, 489 U. S. 87 (1989), we held that the lodestar governed, even though it produced a fee that substantially exceeded the amount provided in the contingent-fee agreement between plaintiff and his counsel (which was self-evidently an amount adequate to attract the needed legal services). Id., at 96. Contingency enhancement is a feature inherent in the contingent-fee model (since attorneys factor in the particular risks of a case in negotiating their fee and in deciding whether to accept the case). To engraft this feature onto the lodestar model would be to concoct a hybrid scheme that resorts to the contingent-fee model to increase a fee award but not to reduce it. Contingency enhancement is therefore not consistent with our general rejection of the contingent-fee model for fee awards, nor is it necessary to the determination of a reasonable fee.

And finally, the interest in ready administrability that has underlain our adoption of the lodestar approach, see, e. g., Hensley, 461 U. S., at 433, and the related interest in avoiding burdensome satellite litigation (the fee application "should not result in a second major litigation," id., at 437), counsel strongly against adoption of contingency enhancement. Contingency enhancement would make the setting of fees more complex and arbitrary, hence more unpredictable, and hence more litigable. It is neither necessary nor even possible for application of the fee-shifting statutes to mimic the intrica-determining the value of injunctive relief, but such problems simply highlight why we have rejected the contingent-fee model in favor of the lode-star model.

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