Evening the Odds: The Case for Attorneys' Fee Awards for Administrative Resolution of Title VI and Title VII Disputes67 N.C.L. Rev. 379
AbstractIn this Article Professor Silver addresses the shifting of attorneys' fees in administratively resolved claims under Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Professor Silver begins by establishing Congress' commitment to provide informal methods for resolving disputes under these statutes and its intent to use fee-shifting provisions as a means of inducing effective access to counsel. She then discusses the United States Supreme Court's decision in North Carolina Department of Transportation v. Crest Street Community Council, Inc. and contrasts its reasoning with two earlier Court decisions dealing with administrative proceedings and attorneys' fees. Professor Silver argues that Crest undermines Congress' intended designs for both informal dispute resolution and fee-shifting in civil rights enforcement. She then proposes standards by which the Court might have evaluated whether separate federal actions to recover attorneys'fees should lie for civil rights cases resolved administratively. After countering arguments against fee recovery, the author calls on Congress to reverse the path the Supreme Court has taken and to amend the relevant civil rights fee-shifting statutes to allow explicitly for fee awards to parties who have prevailed in administrative proceedings under those statutes.
Citation Information67 N.C.L. Rev. 379 (1989).