them here. The lodestar for Ms. Wallis is thus $ 31,050.00. The lodestars for Mr. Morris, after the aforesaid deduction, and Ms. Friedman are $ 22,415.00 and $ 7,997.00, respectively.
Petitioners have requested a specific increase in the lodestar amount but have not suggested a particular amount, instead they have asked the Court to grant an increase based on its familiarity with the case and with counsel. I find that an upward adjustment in the lodestar is warranted by the delay in recovering the fees and by the importance of this action to the Civil Rights Act upon which plaintiffs relied.
This action began in 1974, nearly six years ago, and has twice been before the United States Supreme Court. Over the course of the litigation, petitioners received neither compensation nor reimbursement for the substantial amounts of time they devoted to the case. It is well settled that, under the rubric of contingency, petitioners may be compensated for the contingent nature of services and/or for the delay experienced in recovering their fee. See Lindy Bros. Builders of Philadelphia v. American Radiator & Standard Sanitary Corp., 540 F.2d 102, 117 (3d Cir. 1976) (hereinafter "Lindy II "). After careful consideration of all factors, I will increase the fee lodestars by 10% to satisfy this concern.
Also, I will adjust the lodestar to reflect the importance of this action to the cause of civil rights. In Hughes, the Third Circuit recognized that the reasonableness of a fee award must be evaluated in light of the "private attorney general" policy behind the 1976 Fees Awards Act. Hughes, supra, 578 F.2d 483 at 488-89. Here, petitioners acted as private attorneys general to the fullest. The importance of the constitutional rights vindicated by plaintiffs cannot be questioned. The violation necessarily pervaded the entire state and affected not only the physician class named as plaintiffs, but also all women who might seek an abortion within the Commonwealth. I note also that the theories upon which plaintiffs were proceeding were not settled at that time.
To reflect the importance of this action to the substantive purposes of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, I will adjust the lodestar upward by a factor of 50%.
The total fee awards for petitioners are as follows:
Ms. Wallis $ 49,680.00 ($ 31,050 plus an adjustment of $ 18,630.00).
Mr. Morris $ 35,864.00 ($ 22,415.00 plus an adjustment of $ 13,449.00);
Ms. Friedman $ 12,795.20 ($ 7,997 plus an adjustment of $ 4,798.20).
Petitioners have also requested reimbursement for the costs of the litigation. There being no objection from the Commonwealth, I will award costs in the amounts sought $ 2,342.33 to reimburse Roland Morris for the Duane firm and $ 442.00 for Ms. Wallis.