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State opposes $1.2M attorney fees in gay marriage case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Justice is opposing civil rights advocates’ claims for $1.2 million in attorney fees they say they accumulated fighting the state’s gay marriage ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit in 2014 challenging the ban on behalf of eight gay couples. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb invalidated the ban in June. The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld her ruling in September.

ACLU lawyers and other attorneys who worked behalf of the couples filed a motion with Crabb in December demanding $1.2 million in attorney fees.

The DOJ filed a brief Tuesday saying that the claim grossly exceeds the market rate for civil rights attorneys in Crabb’s jurisdiction and questioned the attorneys’ hours.

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