- "The bill for Heller: $3.5 million"

By Lyle Denniston

Lawyers who won the historic Second Amendment gun rights case in the Supreme Court — District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290) — on Monday asked a federal judge to award them more than $3.5 million for attorneys’ fees, plus $13,215.30 for expenses and court costs. In a motion and memorandum filed with U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, the attorneys said that they had achieved “one of the most profound and important victories available under our system of justice.”

Their argument also suggested that this was a David vs. Goliath clash, with the attorneys on their side far outnumbered in lawyers, legal resources and government funding.

Their motion said the lawyers expect that the District of Columbia government will oppose their fee and expenses request, but added that they had not yet received a formal response.

Looking back at the case, the memorandum remarked: “Throughout it all, [the challengers’] legal team consisted primarily of the three undersigned attorneys, with occasional support from a small handful of others, all working on a pro bono basis.” The three are Alexandria attorneys Alan Gura and Clark M. Neily III, plus Robert A. Levy of the Cato Institute, “who also personally bore all the expenses of the litigation,” according to the document.

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