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

  • Land Use Plan Workshop

    Land Use Plan Workshop: Substantive Participation by Local Governments in Federal Agency Decision Making/Template for Local Land Use Plan - Hosted by the Niobrara Soil and Water Conservation District

    January 23, 2018 | Lusk, WY

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen

  • Topic: Public/Private Land Challenges

    Karen Budd-Falen to Speak at the Society of Range Management's 2018 Annual Meeting/Plenary Session: Topic: Public/Private Land Challenges

    January 29, 2018 | Sparks, NV

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen

    More Info

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