A federal court has awarded $90.8 million to the attorneys who represented African-American farmers in litigation against the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging discrimination in the loan application process. In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litig., No. 08-0511 (D.D.C., decided July 11, 2013). Additional details about class counsels’ request appear in Issue 405 of this Update.

Explaining the challenges counsel faced, their extensive efforts to secure an
award for the class of farmers in excess of $1 billion, the millions they incurred
in unreimbursed expenses, as well as the hours devoted to assisting the
Claims Administrator during the claims process, the court found an award
representing 7.4 percent of the claims fund reasonable. According to the
court, “Class counsel have undertaken the immense challenge presented by
this action with the utmost professionalism and integrity, exhibiting skill,
diligence, and efficiency in all aspects of their duties.”


About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.