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CONSUMERS UNION OF UNITED STATES v. BOARD OF GOVER

October 24, 1975

CONSUMERS UNION OF UNITED STATES, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF the FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRYANT

 BRYANT, District Judge.

 Upon consideration of the motion of plaintiffs pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(E) for an award of reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in connection with the instant case; the memorandum of points and authorities and annexed attachments and the affidavit of Peter H. Schuck, Esquire, submitted in support of said motion; the opposition of defendants ("the Board"); and the reply of plaintiffs; the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

 1. Plaintiffs have substantially prevailed in this case by effecting a settlement of all issues in dispute, under which settlement the Board now is and will continue to make public under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, all of the interest rate information for all given categories of consumer installment loans for which such public disclosure is being sought in this case.

 2. This settlement would not have been achieved in the absence of the instant litigation.

 3. Plaintiffs, by bringing this suit and effecting such settlement, have vindicated an important Congressional policy, i.e., "the national policy of disclosure of government information". S.Rept. No. 93-854, at p. 18.

 4. Plaintiffs, by bringing this suit and effecting such settlement, have conferred important economic benefits on consumers generally, i.e., the availability of comparative interest rate information on consumer loans and savings and time deposit accounts offered by competing institutions; the enhancement of competition resulting therefrom; and the increased possibility of future reforms increasing the availability of such information to the public.

 5. Plaintiffs are non-profit, "public interest" type consumer educational organizations and sought the interest rate information for the purpose of benefitting the general public.

 6. An award of reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation costs applicable to services rendered prior to February 19, 1975 would be just and equitable to all parties; and it is by the Court this 24 day of October, 1975

 ORDERED that plaintiffs are entitled to an award of reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in this action, to be assessed against the United States; and it is

 FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs, within ten (10) days of this Order, shall submit to this Court evidence concerning the quantity and fair market value of the legal services rendered, and the other litigation costs reasonably incurred by them, in this action, including those in connection with the instant motion.

 SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

 This action is now before the Court on plaintiffs' submission pursuant to this Court's order of October 24, 1975 awarding attorneys' fees and other litigation costs, and on defendants' motion for reconsideration and opposition to plaintiffs' submission.

 Plaintiffs have calculated attorneys' fees and litigation costs totalling $19,699.19. They base these calculations on standards for determining the reasonable value of attorney's services that are set out in National Treasury Employees Union v. ...


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