A fight over legal fees is brewing between the U.S. Justice Department and plaintiffs lawyers who oversaw a landmark $680 million settlement for Native American farmers and ranchers in their discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Justice Department is opposing a supplemental award of fees and costs totaling $3.2 million, an amount on top of the $60.8 million earlier awarded to the attorneys who represented the class in the case Keepseagle v. Perdue. The litigation began nearly 19 years ago. The government paid $680 million into a settlement fund in 2011. An additional $80 million was earmarked for debt relief.
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