$450,000 of the Settlement Was For Reimbursement of Attorney’s Fees.
Title IX is one of the federal fee-shifting attorney’s fees statutes that encourages litigants to confront various forms of discrimination. It does play a role in settlements, as we next discuss in connection with a recent compromise reached between a California public school and a former swim coach.
San Diego State former swim coach Deena Deardurff Schmidt recently gained $1.45 million in a settlement of her Title IX sexual discrimination lawsuit against the school. The settlement broke down as follows: (1) $317,420 lump sum payment; (2) $682,580 annuity; and (3) $450,000 for attorney’s fees, some of which were going back to the plaintiff in reimbursement of what she had apparently already paid. This settlement shows how fees do play a part in the compromise of cases with fee-shifting statutes in play.
For more on the settlement as well as interesting reader splits of opinion on Title IX’s efficacy and on whether San Diego State should have litigated further, see this article.