Attorneys For Same-Sex Couples Say Texas Still Owes $741,000 In Legal Fees | Texas Public Radio

Attorneys For Same-Sex Couples Say Texas Still Owes $741,000 In Legal Fees

Sep 7, 2015

Attorneys for a pair of same-sex couples that originally sued the state for its ban on same-sex marriage are looking to get paid.  San Antonio Attorney Neel Lane was the lead attorney in the case and said the state owes plaintiff attorneys close to $750 thousand dollars in attorney’s fees and expenses.

San Antonio Attorney Neel Lane
Credit Ryan E. Poppe

Lane says under federal law, the prevailing or winning party in a constitutional challenge can have their attorney’s fees paid.  But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has suggested that Texas’ ban was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court decision Obergefell vs. Hodges, not the case filed by Lane’s clients.

“But the reality is we had won that battle back in February of 2014 and were on appeal, so our victory actually predated Obergefell,” Lane explained.

In 2014, San Antonio Federal District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, but then put that decision on hold pending the outcome of the case once it had been ruled on by a panel of judges at the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Lane, other attorneys, and legal aides for the plaintiffs have filed their petition in Judge Garcia’s court in San Antonio.

The judge is waiting for the Attorney General's Office to file a response to this petition, letting the court know if the state plans to fight it or pay the bill.