Rejecting the argument that a district court wrongly “flipped the burden” onto defendants when reaching a plaintiffs-side attorney fees award, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has upheld a $3.25 million award given to four organizations representing foster children in Missouri.

“Read in context, what the [federal district] court was saying was that the defendants had not rebutted the ‘accuracy and reasonableness of [some of] the hours charged’ [by plaintiffs’ counsel], not that they had failed to meet some burden of their own,” said a three-judge panel of the court, quoting Gates v. Deukmejian, as it affirmed a fee award that went to organizations that included two non-profit groups.