Moro v. Oregon

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 10-27-2016
  • Case #: S061452C
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Balmer, C.J. for the Court; Kistler, J.; Walters, J.; Brewer, J.; Baldwin, J.; & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Self-appointed attorneys may collect attorney fees under the common-fund and substantial-benefit doctrine.

Moro petitioned for attorney fees after the Court ruled in his favor stating that eliminating a cost-of-living-adjustment to the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) was unconstitutional. The Court concluded that the fees should be awarded based on the common-fund and substantial-benefit doctrine; that self-represented attorneys are eligible to receive a fee award under those doctrines; and that a reasonable fee award under the lodestar approach must be based on reasonable hourly rates. See Strawn v. Farmers Ins. Co., 353 Or 210, 217, 297 P3d 439 (2013) (describing lodestar method). The Court held that the common-fund and substantial-benefit doctrine should be used to prevent unjust enrichment, yet still compensate attorneys for prevailing work. Attorney fees and costs awarded.

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