Public Interest and Pro-Bono Representation Rate Adjustment Policy

We believe that mediation, arbitration and other Alternative Dispute Resolution tools are often under-utilized in public interest litigation. These cases present unique challenges and require creative approaches. One of the barriers to the use of ADR services is often the limited funding available for litigation costs in such cases. In order to promote the use of ADR services in public interest litigation and maintain fairness and neutrality, we have adopted a policy which allows us to consider substantial rate reductions in selected public interest and pro-bono cases.

We will consider a 25% fee discount where all of the following apply:

1. The matter is public interest litigation or a special assignment (e.g., pre-litigation matter or "Independent Investigator" assignment) where no single person or group of persons is seeking a monetary or equivalent recovery, and;

2. one or more parties is represented by a government agency employee attorney or private counsel serving pro-bono publico, and;

3. counsel or a representative of a party(ies) requesting the fee reduction represents in writing that our standard rates exceed approved rates for the services to be rendered or, in cases of pro-bono publico representation, that there are no or limited funds for such costs available.

As examples, we would consider application of this policy to consumer, environmental and other public benefit litigation brought by a City Attorney or District Attorney or a public interest group, even where "penalties" or "damages" payable to a government budget or fund are sought, but not for the benefit of any specific individual or individuals; and to public interest litigation challenging governmental action where the above criteria are met.

The purpose of this policy is to foster the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution in public interest cases, not to benefit any party or side. This policy does not obligate us to accept an assignment at a discounted rate. If we agree to reduce our fees in accordance with this policy, however, the reduction will apply to the fees chargeable to all parties in the matter, not just the party which "qualifies" for application of the rate reduction.