Antioch Law Journal


The new statute entitled the Equal Access to Justice Act 1 (hereinafter Act) is of great importance because it provides, on a three year experimental basis, for the award of possibly large attorneys' fees and other expenses to private parties of modest means in successful civil actions against the government, its agencies or officials. The Act, however, is specifically not applicable in tort actions. 2 The new Act entitles certain private parties prevailing in government litigation to recover attorneys' fees, expert witness fees, and other expenses against the United States, unless the government action was "substantially justified" or "special circumstances make an award unjust."3 Within thirty days of final judgment in the action, the party seeking an award must submit an application to the court specifying the amount sought, including an itemized statement showing the actual time expended and the rate at which fees and other expenses were computed.