Akin Gump Recovers $1 Million Fee in EEOC Case

Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 10:13

Akin Gump secured a near $1 million award on behalf of Freeman, the world’s largest brand experience company, to cover attorneys’ fees in a discrimination case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC had claimed that Freeman’s use of job applicants’ credit histories and criminal convictions had a disparate impact on African-American, Hispanic and male job applicants, but a court entered judgment for Freeman and dismissed the suit in 2013. The ruling was later upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Akin Gump partner Donald Livingston, a former EEOC general counsel, led the representation of Freeman. Livingston told Am Law that it is rare for an attorneys’ fees award to be entered against the EEOC in Title VII litigation, but in this case, the commission overreached. “What the judge has said,” he observed, “is that when you, as a plaintiff, know that you have lost … that you have an obligation to stop litigating.”