DALLAS – Charla G. Aldous‘ client walked out of the courtroom with a $3.6 million jury verdict, more than 90 times what he was offered in settlement. Ms. Aldous finished the case with kudos from the judge and approval of her fees at $750-an-hour, a rarity in any court.
Ms. Aldous, founder of Dallas’ Aldous \ Walker LLP, represented Dr. Naiel Nassar in claims against the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center based on discrimination and retaliation claims after he tried to go work for another hospital.
U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle of Dallas called Ms. Aldous’ work “superb” in a legal fee opinion following the jury verdict in favor of Dr. Nassar.
During the trial, Ms. Aldous proved that Dr. Nassar, a Muslim physician of Egyptian national origin, was the subject of discrimination and retaliation based on his race, national origin or religious prejudice while at UT Southwestern. Ms. Aldous told jurors how UT Southwestern constructively discharged Dr. Nassar and blocked his employment at Parkland Hospital before offering to settle his lawsuit for only $40,000.
Federal judges are given discretion under the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 to award reasonable fees to the lawyers who win a case. Other attorneys interviewed for a Texas Lawyernewspaper story about the fees noted that Judge Boyle is known for being exacting, and yet the $750 rate was the highest rate award one lawyer had ever seen.