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 – Financing American Endangered Species on Foreign Soil – February, 2011
  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

  • 2017 Women in Agriculture Conference

    Karen Budd-Falen is speaking at the Women in Agriculture Conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico in May 2017. She will be discussing topics related to legislation and litigation. Her daughter, Sarah Falen, will also be a special speaker on the topic of self-defense and the importance of personal safety.

    June 1, 2017 | New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum- Las Cruces, NM

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen

    More Info
  • 2017 Energy & Natural Resources Section Summit

    2017 ENR Section Summit on June 8 and 9, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Casper, WY is co-hosted by the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER) and Center for Law and Energy Resources in the Rockies (CLERR). This event will include an afternoon of live CLE programming, including ethics, and dinner reception on June 8. There is a live streaming option for those who cannot attend in person. June 9 is a fully-guided fly fishing trip on the North Platte River for those who sign up (no fishing experience required).

    June 8, 2017 | Hilton Garden Inn, Casper Wyoming

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen


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