Lawyers, Monks and Money

Fee decree may 'chill' enviro lawsuits

"For years and years now we've been trying to tell them that we recognize the property owners can develop a regional project out there," Hesseltine says, "but that they have to consider all the environmental elements out there to develop to the best extent possible."

Hesseltine says his firm will press forward even if the Vedanta Society is ultimately out its fees. He estimates it will be several months before the latest court actions are even heard.

Meanwhile, Wylie of Whittier Law School doesn't expect public outrage over the denied attorney fees.

"In an era of very tight government budgets," he says, "nothing expends less sympathy than a bunch of lawyers."

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