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Lawyers Who Won NSA Spy Case Demand $2.63 Million

• David Kravets via WIRED

How much does it cost to convince a federal judge your clients were victims of President Bush’s once-secret warrantless spy program? $2.63 million.

That’s the combined payment a team of eight lawyers is demanding from the government after proving their clients were illegally wiretapped under a once-secret National Security Agency spy program adopted in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. The hourly rates range from $506 an hour to $296, and are based on generally accepted billing schedules.

The legal fee request (.pdf) Wednesday came three months after U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco ruled the former administration wiretapped phone calls between a Saudi charity and its U.S. lawyers without a warrant, in violation of federal law.

It was the first ruling addressing how Bush’s spy program was carried out against American citizens. Other lawsuits considered the program’s overall constitutionality — absent any evidence of specific eavesdropping — and were dismissed.

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