In November, US District Court Judge James Brady ruled the state's law prohibiting the distribution of violent games to minors was unconstitutional. Having secured their latest victory in court, the Entertainment Software Association and the Entertainment Merchants Association went about the process of having their court costs reimbursed by the state, as they have after emerging victorious in previous legal battles.
The trade groups were requesting more than $145,000 in attorney's fees and costs, and as reported by GamePolitics, Judge Brady last week granted that request, in part. Instead of the full amount sought, the judge awarded the trade groups' law firms almost $92,000.
Within the ruling, Judge Brady also said he was "dumbfounded" that the state was in the position of having to shell out taxpayer money over this, noting that the law had to pass through legal review at every step. Given that similar statutes were declared unconstitutional in a number of jurisdictions, "the Court wonders why nobody objected to the enactment of this statute. In this court's view, the taxpayers deserve more from their elected officials."
This is not the first time the game industry has collected on attorney's fees after successfully fighting game-related legislation. After an attempted game restriction law in Illinois was overturned in 2005, Illinois was ordered to reimburse the industry for more than $500,000 in attorneys' fees.