15 CFR 18.6 - Standards for awards.
(a) A prevailing applicant may receive an award for fees and expenses incurred in connection with a proceeding, or in a significant and discrete substantive portion of the proceedings, unless the position of the Department over which the applicant has prevailed was substantially justified. The position of the Department includes, in addition to the position taken by the Department in the adversary adjudication, the action or failure to act by the Department upon which the adversary adjudication is based. The burden of proof that an award should not be made to an eligible prevailing applicant because the Department's position was substantially justified is on the agency counsel.
(b) An award will be reduced or denied if the applicant has unduly or unreasonably protracted the proceeding or if special circumstances make the award sought unjust.