House Approves Bill Requiring the Executive Branch to Report Fees Awarded To Prevailing Parties

Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act (H.R. 2919), which would amend existing law to require the Executive Branch to provide an annual report to Congress on the amount of fees and other expenses awarded to prevailing parties, other than the United States, in certain administrative proceedings and civil suits, including certain lawsuits under the Endangered Species Act and other environmental statutes.  The Act would require the report to account for all payments of fees and other expenses awarded made pursuant to a settlement agreement, regardless of whether the settlement agreement is sealed or otherwise subject to nondisclosure provisions.  The Act would also require the United States to create and maintain online a searchable database containing information related to the civil action or administrative proceeding and the award.  The bipartisan bill, which was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on February 5, 2014, was approved by the House after 40 minutes of debate. 

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    Ben Rubin assists developers, public agencies, landowners, and corporate clients on a variety of complex land use and environmental matters.  He counsels clients on matters dealing with the Federal and State Endangered Species ...

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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