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O’Rourke v. City of Providence – Case Brief Summary (Federal Court)

In O'Rourke v. City of Providence, 235 F.3d 713 (1st Cir. 2001), the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that the district court had abused its discretion in denying the ultimately prevailing plaintiff's request for attorneys' fees and costs, for two trials, based upon the erroneous conclusion that the need for the second trial was caused by the plaintiff's "introduction of irrelevant and highly prejudicial evidence" at the first. 235 F.3d at 737.

There was "no reason" to deny fees and costs to the plaintiff because, concluded the First Circuit, the second trial was necessitated, not by the plaintiff, but by the district court's erroneous legal ruling. Id. at 733, 737.