Joe Arpaio's Racial Profiling Case Costs County Over $1 Million So Far, with More to Come
One expensive bunch of pork belly
Sheriff Joe Arpaio's legal beagle Tim Casey has indicated that the sheriff's office will appeal federal Judge G. Murray Snow's recent decision, wherein Snow found the MCSO guilty of racial profiling and ordered it to stop.
Considering the payday Casey's firm Schmitt Schneck Smyth Casey & Even, P.C. has scored by defending biased policing in Melendres v. Arpaio, I can't say I blame him.
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According to Maricopa County, Casey's firm has billed $945,205.96 in Melendres.
Nearly a million clams. Not bad for losing.
Actually, the damage is a little higher, as the firm Ogletree Deakins worked on the case at one time, and billed $80,035.50.
That's a total of $1,025,241.46 that the county's ponied up for the case.
Under federal law, the county is responsible for paying for the attorneys' fees of the plaintiffs in this case, which according to ACLU of Arizona attorney Dan Pochoda are sure to exceed those of Casey.
An appeal will add to those fees, should the plaintiffs prevail.
"If you win on appeal, you're entitled to fees both on the trial, and for all the work you did on appeal," Pochoda explained.
"It's over a seven figure amount now," he said of the amount owed plaintiffs' lawyers. "That's over a five year period with all the law firm attorneys and so forth. But the appeal will be a six figure amount, including costs and fees."
The plaintiffs did not ask for damages in Melendres, only a ruling in their favor.
Assuming Pochoda's estimates are correct, Melendres may have already cost more than $2 million (adding in what Casey and Ogletree have been paid), and if appealed, could cost the county $3 million to $4 million total.
Unlike Casey, whose payday is guaranteed, lawyers from ACLU, MALDEF, and the law firm Covington and Burling, among others, labored at the risk of not getting paid, if the Judge had sided with the defendants instead of them.
As far as an appeal goes, Pochoda called it a "guaranteed win" for the plaintiffs, should the county go forward. He claimed that Snow's 142-page decision was "appeal proof," and contained "no tricky questions of law."