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This month we discuss Perez v. Westchester County Dep’t of Corr.,1 in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court decision holding that a party to a private settlement, whose terms are incorporated into an order of dismissal, is a prevailing party under 42 U.S.C. §1988(b) (a fee-shifting statute governing civil rights actions), and therefore eligible for attorney’s fees. The Second Circuit’s decision, written by Judge Guido Calabresi and joined by Judge Debra Ann Livingston and District Judge Edward R. Korman (sitting by designation), expands the circumstances in which a settling party may be considered a “prevailing party” and thus eligible for attorney’s fees under 42 U.S.C. §1988(b). The decision was a case of first impression for the Second Circuit, which had never previously considered whether an order of dismissal incorporating settlement terms was sufficient to constitute a judicial imprimatur and thus support a grant of attorney’s fees.2

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