EAJA / Attorney Fee Payments


In 2009, Karen Budd-Falen began researching how national environmental groups were taking advantage of fee shifting provisions contained within some of the most prominent federal environmental regulations. What she found was shocking!

At the most basic level, fee shifting provisions provide compensation for citizens who bring litigation against the federal government to enforce the federal laws. This concept provides for a “checks-and-balances” of the federal government by private citizens, and diminishes the worry of those citizens that they cannot afford to bring a lawsuit. While the premise of fee shifting statutes is admirable, some national environmental groups have severely taken advantage of the system – in some cases, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars for lawsuits that enforce procedures, and don’t protect the environment.

Thus, Ms. Budd-Falen has brought to light this controversy, presenting her findings at various conferences and through various media outlets – including radio, newspaper, and webcasts – throughout the West.

  1. Debt for Nature
  2. The $206,098,920 Endangered Species Act Settlement Agreements; Is All That Paperwork Worth It? – July, 2011
  3. Attorneys Fees Reform Passes U.S. House Judiciary Committee – November, 2011
  4. Veterans, Seniors and Bugs – May, 2012
  5. Proposed Legislation, 113th Congress, H.R. 2919, Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act
  6. Proposed Legislation, 113th Congress, H.R. 3037, Government Litigation Savings Act

Older Opinion Editorials

  1. Environmental Organization’s use of NEPA to Eliminate Land Use and Obtain Attorneys’ Fees Under the EAJA – November, 2005
  2. Environmental Litigation Gravy Train – September, 2009
  3. Follow-Up Case Studies on Attorney Fees Awards – September, 2009
  4. American Taxpayers are Funding Environmental Litigation Against the Taxpayers – October, 2009
  5. The Distinction Between “For Profit” and “Non Profit” – Who Can Get Paid by the Federal Government – December, 2009
  6. American Taxpayers are Paying for Global Warming Litigation – December, 2009
  7. 42 Million and Counting – We are Funding our Own Deminse – February, 2010
  8. Litigation Attorney Fees Case Study – Yellowstone Park Snowmobile Case – May, 2010
  9. It’s Not About Saving Species, It’s About Making Some Groups Wealthy – May, 2010
  10. Getting Paid to Go Away – September, 2010
  11. Proposed EAJA and Judgment Fund Reform – November, 2010

Speaking Engagements

  • Nebraska Environmental Trust Meeting

    1:30 PM - 5:00 PM. Providing information regarding conservation easements.

    August 6, 2018 | Columbus, Nebraska

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen

  • Big Game Forever: Wolf Symposium

    Symposium and dinner where Karen and other experts will be speaking about wolves and their impact on big game populations, the disease they carry, and their affect on the West.

    August 11, 2018 | Grand Junction, Colorado

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen

  • 101st South Dakota Farm Bureau Convention

    November 17, 2018 | Rapid City, South Dakota

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen


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