Attorney’s Fee Bill Back To Senate Floor

SB 705, legislation providing plaintiff attorneys fees on numerous constitutional claims against governments, has been passed again by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, and will be debated in the days ahead on the Senate floor.

Local governments have opposed the bill, citing its effects far beyond the stated desire to provide “access to justice” for non-monetary cases. The fiscal note suggests the bill would have a substantial fiscal cost to state and local governments, as it would trigger more expensive lawsuits and does not contain numerous balancing provisions that exist in federal courts.

The bill will be on “second reader” and open to amendments for the Thursday morning session.

Update: Following another motion to delay consideration of the bill, it will be on the Senate floor agenda again for Monday, April 10 – the last day of session.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties