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Eastern District of Texas

Honorable Rodney Gilstrap, Chief Judge
David A. O'Toole, Clerk of Court

Budgeting for High Cost Litigation

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Individuals involved in high-cost litigation - including court personnel, attorneys and parties - are encouraged to use the explanatory memoranda and forms provided below as budgetary planning tools, particularly when reimbursement of costs and payment of attorney fees is expected through the CJA (or other government sources). Depending on the nature of the case, the Court will routinely require the party who will be seeing payment to prepare a proposed budget for the Court's review and approval. Under guidelines from the United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit, certain caps apply to payments the District Court can authorize (e.g., $7,500 for investigative services and $35,000 for attorney fees in a death penalty habeas case, etc.) and excess amounts must be forwarded by the presiding District Judge to the Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit for approval, with an appropriate recommendation for approval or disapproval. Submitting cost estimates to the Court using these resources will help justify a party's request for payment.