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Years Later, $95,000 Attorney Fees Paid in Essex County Jail Conditions Suit

After 12 years of disputing the amount to be paid to Massachusetts
Correctional Legal Servicer (MCLS) for attorney fees relating to a class
action suit, officials in Essex County agreed on July 8, 2004, to pay
$95,069.89 in such fees. MCLS was entitled to reasonable attorney fees and
cost under an October 27, 1992, settlement agreement in the civil action of
Greenlee v. Reardon, which was filed in Massachusetts' Suffolk Superior Court.

That agreement required the sheriff of Essex County or the Massachusetts
Department of Operation at the Essex County Jail and House if Corrections
in Salem (Salem Jail). By October 1, 1994, the defendants were required to:
(1) receive accreditation of medical services by the National Commission on
Correctional Healthcare; (2) Develop and implement a more extensive
substance abuse program; (3) Increase visitation opportunities for
prisoners; and (4) Develop and implement a more extensive basic literacy

The agreement also carried an unusual provision for jail litigation. That
provision speaks to the seriousness of the deficiencies in the jail's
services. Each plaintiff and class member were to be paid $10.00 for each
day they were incarcerated at the Salem Jail. On June 15, 1998, the
Superior Court approved Distribution of the Greenlee et al litigation fund.

The July 8, 2004, settlement agreement on attorneys' fees precludes all
parties to Greenlee From seeking distribution of any remaining funds in the
litigation fund once the attorney fees of $95,000 are satisfied. Finally,
MCLS has its fees for prevailing in this class action suit, but it took 12
years after reaching settlement upon the action's merits. See: Greenlee v.
Reardon, Suffolk Superior Court, Massachusetts, Case No: 84-69985.

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Related legal case

Greenlee v. Reardon