Matthew Burrows

Document Type



The Clean Air Act (CAA) authorizes citizen suits and empowers courts reviewing these suits to award attorneys’ fees whenever appropriate. For some courts, awarding attorneys’ fees to a CAA citizen plaintiff is appropriate whenever a plaintiff achieves some success on the merits. Other courts hold that such awards are appropriate only when the citizen plaintiff has served the public interest by bringing suit. This note argues that a CAA citizen plaintiff seeking attorneys’ fees should not be required to demonstrate that the suit served the public interest. Instead, courts should award attorneys’ fees whenever a plaintiff partially or wholly prevails on the merits of a CAA citizen suit.