FOR PREVAILING IN LAWSUIT OVER HANDGUN BAN
U.S. Navy veteran David J. Radich and his wife, Li-Rong, are requesting payment for their two lawyers in the total amount of $103,913.83 for attorney’s fees and expenses for prevailing in their lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the CNMI gun’s control law.
Attorneys David G. Sigale and Daniel T. Guidotti are asking the U.S. District Court for the NMI to award them attorney’s fees in the amount of $80,325 and $15,347.50, respectively.
Sigale said through April 11, 2016, for spending 109.2 hours at $500 an hour rate, his attorney’s fees is $54,600; while for spending 102.9 hours at $250 an hour, his fees is $25,725, or for a total of $80,325.
Guidotti said through April 5, 2016, for spending 87.7 hours at $175 an hour, his fees is $15,347.50.
The lawyers said they incurred $8,241.33 in costs.
Sigale and Guidotti said having completely prevailed per U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona’s order on March 28, 2016, and pursuant to said order, the plaintiffs are entitled to recover their attorney’s fees and costs.
The Radich couple, challenged, on Second Amendment grounds, the CNMI’s prohibition on the possession and importation of handguns and ammunition, as well as the CNMI’s ban on the use of firearms for self-defense purposes.
The couple also challenged, on 14th Amendment equal protection grounds, the ban on lawful resident aliens obtaining weapons identification cards for self-defense purposes.
The couple sued then-Department of Public Safety commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero and Department of Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson.
According to the complaint, in 2010, while Mr. Radich was away and his wife, Li-Rong, was at home alone on Saipan, their house was invaded. Li-Rong was attacked and beaten up resulting in serious injuries. The invader ran away after she screamed for help.
The couple applied for weapons permit in July 2013, but was denied. This prompted them to file the lawsuit.
In her March 28 ruling, Manglona declared unconstitutional the CNMI’s gun control law that prohibits all residents from obtaining handguns for self-defense purposes.
Manglona ruled that the handgun and handgun ammunition and their import ban contained in the provisions of the CNMI Weapons Control Act are declared unconstitutional and in violation of the Covenant that incorporated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Sigale and Guidotti said they submit that the quality of their work, and the result achieved, speaks for themselves.
The lawyers said as of March 28, a new constitutional order respecting fundamental, enumerated rights prevailed throughout the CNMI.
Sigale said he has successfully litigated Second Amendment cases across the U.S.
In addition to his constitutional litigation practice, Sigale litigates such other complex issues as antitrust law and employment discrimination.
Sigale has been named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list every year since 2012.
Guidotti previously worked as an assistant public defender for the CNMI Office of the Public Defender, and as associate legal counsel for Bridge Capital LLC. Most recently, he is a solo practitioner.