Dispatches from the Creation Wars

I had no idea the Ten Commandments case involving McCreary County, Kentucky was still going, but apparently it is. A federal judge just ordered McCreary and Pulaski counties to pay the legal fees for the plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, after they won a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2005. The counties hired Mat Staver as their attorney and he doesn’t seem to know whether insurance will pay for those legal fees or not.

Mathew Staver, who represents both counties, said insurance companies may cover the legal bill if the counties ultimately have to pay.

Staver, founder and chairman of the Christian legal group Liberty Counsel, said if the counties win the case on appeal, they wouldn’t have to pay the ACLU.

McCreary County Judge-Executive Blaine Phillips said he doesn’t think the county’s insurance policy would cover its share of the payment.

Phillips said McCreary County might seek donations if it has to split the cost of the Ten Commandments fight with Pulaski County.

“That’ll be a hard pill to swallow” if the county has to pay the judgment, Phillips said.The counties disputed the fee request, calling it unreasonable and claiming the attorneys spent too much time on tasks like legal research and sought fees that were too high.

Coffman noted that the case consumed 1,300 work hours over 10 years by lead ACLU attorney David A. Friedman, with assistance from William E. Sharp.

Coffman also noted that the counties’ own actions ran up the legal bill in the case.

On average the courts only award about 40% of the legal fees in such cases, so I’m guessing the counties are actually getting off light. And when will people learn not to hire Staver? The man is staggeringly bad as an attorney.