Brown v. State
In Brown v. State, 565 So. 2d 585, 591-92 (Ala. 1990), the Supreme Court of Alabama permitted an award of attorneys' fees in a class action challenging class members' convictions for traffic offenses where the members had been issued improperly verified traffic complaints.
The Court observed that:
Plaintiffs have, however, made a significant contribution to the integrity of our system of jurisprudence in calling attention to a serious flaw in its administration. . . . This litigation clearly resulted in a benefit to the general public. It is unquestionable that plaintiffs' attorneys rendered a public service by bringing an end to an improper practice. The public nature of the services rendered by these lawyers justifies an award of attorney fees. Id.