Jul 25, 2011

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ESA Hopes California Will Reimburse Their Legal Fees

ESA Hopes California Will Reimburse Their Legal Fees

After the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) declared California’s violent video game bill unconstitutional, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) who battled the law all the way to the highest court had quite a few legal fees, $1.1 million, to be exact.  Because California lost (after losing time and again in lower courts), the ESA is hoping that the state will foot their bill.

Although the  SCOTUS has the right to defer the payment issue to a lower court (called “fee shift,”), this isn’t the first time the ESA has motioned to have their legal fees reimbursed by states for similar issues.  Louisiana, Michigan, and Illinois all had to cover ESA legal fees when their own video game laws failed to pass judicial scrutiny.

Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA remarked, “From the start of this misguided legislation, then-Governor Schwarzenegger and specific California legislators knew that their efforts to censor and restrict expression were, as court after court ruled, unconstitutional and thus a waste of taxpayers’ money, government time, and state resources.”

Although it will most likely be determined that the ESA is entitled to their money, California already has enough budget problems, and state residents may not be happy that they have to settle the bill.

[Source: Ars Technica via Game Politics]