Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557, 11 (1992)

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Cite as: 505 U. S. 557 (1992)

Blackmun, J., dissenting

cies of the fee-paying market in every respect. See Delaware Valley I, 478 U. S., at 565.

* * *

Adopting the position set forth in Justice White's opinion in Delaware Valley II, 483 U. S., at 715-727, we hold that enhancement for contingency is not permitted under the fee-shifting statutes at issue. We reverse the Court of Appeals' judgment insofar as it affirmed the 25% enhancement of the lodestar.

It is so ordered.

Justice Blackmun, with whom Justice Stevens joins, dissenting.

In language typical of most federal fee-shifting provisions, the statutes involved in this case authorize courts to award the prevailing party a "reasonable" attorney's fee.1 Two principles, in my view, require the conclusion that the "enhanced" fee awarded to respondents was reasonable. First, this Court consistently has recognized that a "reasonable" fee is to be a "fully compensatory fee," Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U. S. 424, 435 (1983), and is to be "calculated on the basis of rates and practices prevailing in the relevant market." Missouri v. Jenkins, 491 U. S. 274, 286 (1989). Second, it is a fact of the market that an attorney who is paid only when his client prevails will tend to charge a higher fee than one who is paid regardless of outcome,2 and relevant professional standards long have recognized that this practice is reasonable.3

1 See 33 U. S. C. 1365(d) (Clean Water Act); 42 U. S. C. 6972(e) (Solid Waste Disposal Act).

2 See, e. g., R. Posner, Economic Analysis of Law 21.9, pp. 534-535 (3d ed. 1986).

3 See Canons of Ethics 12, 33 A. B. A. Rep. 575, 578 (1908); Model Code of Professional Responsibility, DR 2-106(B)(8) (1980); ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.5(a)(8) (1992).

567

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