In Spooner v. EEN, Inc., 2011 WL 261178 (1st Cir. July 5, 2011), the First Circuit court of appeals considered a case where statutory damages were greatly outweighed by the attorneys fees awarded by the district court. The decision, helpful to any attorney hoping to get a sizeable fee award, is embedded below.
My book Copyright Litigation Handbook has an entire Chapter 18 titled Costs and Attorneys fees. In Spooner, the First Circuit clarified that attorneys fees may be awarded "as costs". So the appellate court does not have jurisdiction unless ALL costs have been fixed below, since it is then not a final judgment. The Spooner court let the parties remedy the jurisdictional defect.
The various circuit courts of appeal take different approaches in awarding fees and costs. A knowledge of the case law is important to ensure that an application for attorneys fees and costs will be successful.
Spooner v EEN Inc
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Thursday, July 07, 2011
First Circuit: Attorneys Fees and Costs May Far Exceed Damages In Copyright Infringement Cases
Labels: appellate jurisdiction, appellate practice, attorneys fees, copyright infringement, copyright law, costs, music law, statutory damages
Partner in law firm Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP in New York City litigating in federal and state courts and arbitrations. Experienced trial and appellate practitioner. Author: Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters 2019-2020). The New York Law Journal called it "an indispensable guide". Board of Directors of the Fordham Law Alumni Association, former General Counsel & Director Federal Bar Association, FBA Chair of the Circuit VPs, ViP for Second Circuit. Member Board of Governors, National Arts Club. President, Network of Bar Leaders (2013-2014). Attorney advertising disclaimer - prior results do not guarantee success. The statements and opinions voiced here are my own and not of my law firm.