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ESA Files Motion To Recoup Attorneys' Fees

by Jeff Cork on Jul 25, 2011 at 04:23 AM

The Entertainment Software Association is delivering another blow to California after the organization successfully defeated the state's video-game legislation in the United States Supreme Court. The group filed a motion with the court today that requests $1.1 million to recoup attorneys' fees that were charged in presenting its side of the case, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association/Entertainment Software Association.

In the motion, the ESA argues that “California persisted in defending a law that plaintiffs warned the Legislature was unconstitutional before it was passed; that was previously found to be unconstitutional by the district court and a unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit; and that is similar to at least eight other laws invalidated as unconstitutional prior to the time that California sought certiorari in this case.”

The state of California passed a law that banned the sale of violent video games to anyone under 18, requiring a warning sticker on the package beyond the normal ESRB rating. The 2005 law stipulated a maximum fine of $1,000 for each infraction. The case previously bore Arnold Schwarzenegger's name, because he was governor at the time the legislation was drafted and signed the bill into law. Later, current governor Jerry Brown's name was added on the case.

“We look forward to moving forward and working together to raise awareness about the valuable tools and information available to parents,” said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA. “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.”