Nat'l Sec. Counselors v. CIA, No. 11-442, 2014 WL 551325 (D.D.C. Feb. 12, 2014) (Collyer, J.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Re: Motion for attorney's fees resulting from request for records concerning Mandatory Declassification Review as well as third party's FOIA request Disposition: Denying plaintiff's motion for attorney's fees
  • Attorney's Fees, Threshold Issues:  The court finds that "there is no client separate from [plaintiff]" and that "his status as a pro se attorney renders him ineligible for an award of attorney's fees."  The court explains that "[t]he record shows little, if any, distinction between [plaintiff] and National Security Counselors."  The court states that "[t]he organization was not a legal entity distinct from [plaintiff]," "every critical leadership role in the organization belongs to [plaintiff]," "[d]espite its formal incorporation, the record contains no evidence that National Security Counselors publicly identifies itself as an incorporated entity, or in any other way distinct from [plaintiff]," and "[w]ith the exception of [one] purpose, i.e., to represent clients in security or privacy-related proceedings, none of the organization's activities involves a traditional attorney-client relationship."  The court notes that "without a true client, the Government is under no obligation to subsidize self-serving activity."
Attorney Fees
District Court
Updated August 6, 2014