July 29th Weekly Wrap Up

 Posted by at 11:30 am  Weekly Wrap-Up  Comments Off on July 29th Weekly Wrap Up
Jul 292011
 

A selection of Legal Fees news articles from the past week-

MLB, Texas Rangers Battling Over Fees (Dallas Star-Telegram)The long saga of the Texas Rangers Baseball Partners bankruptcy isn’t over yet. Dallas firm Munsch Hardt, representing the bankruptcy plan,  are requesting massive reductions  from the 6.3 million dollar fee request by MLB. Charges they object to include $98,000 in photocopying fees, $92,000 for online research and questioning “Why did baseball Commissioner Bud Selig need three attorneys to hold his hand during a deposition” – http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/07/20/3235296/attorneys-still-bickering-in-rangers.html Continue reading »

When Litigation Budgets Aren’t Adequately Communicated

 Posted by at 10:18 am  Corporate Counsel  Comments Off on When Litigation Budgets Aren’t Adequately Communicated
Jul 282011
 

Litigation matter budgets can be a concern when hiring a law firm to perform any number of services. Communication between the client and the law firm is key- both sides must be updated of any cost-related issues that may arise. Moreover, it may be wise to designate a representative to handle all communications on each side. If a legal bill exceeds the client’s budget, the law firm should contact the client. Unfortunately, not all law firms adequately communicate issues and budget concerns with their clients. Continue reading »

Judge orders release of legal invoices submitted by Philadelphia Housing Authority’s outside counsel

 Posted by at 3:13 pm  Court Decisions, Overbilling  Comments Off on Judge orders release of legal invoices submitted by Philadelphia Housing Authority’s outside counsel
Jul 272011
 

According to a recent article published by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Housing Authority has spent an astonishing $38.5 million on outside legal counsel in the past four years.  This prompted the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to subpoena nearly $2.4 million in legal invoices from six major law firms retained by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. Continue reading »

Mercer Island Reportedly Served with Heavy Fee Request

 Posted by at 2:35 pm  Overbilling  Comments Off on Mercer Island Reportedly Served with Heavy Fee Request
Jul 262011
 

The City of Mercer Island recently settled a $1,000,000 sex discrimination case with one of its employees, but there’s still work to do in the courthouse. The Blankenship Law Firm of Seattle is seeking over $172,000 dollars in attorney’s fees according to court documents. An examination of the bills submitted in the fee petition reveals a number of billing practices that some consider to be objectionable, and the City may make a strong claim to get the fee amount reduced. Listed below are representative entries from the bill and why the city can object them.

Continue reading »

MGA Entertainment agrees to $108 million attorney’s fee award in litigation against Mattel

 Posted by at 3:05 pm  BigLaw, Overbilling  Comments Off on MGA Entertainment agrees to $108 million attorney’s fee award in litigation against Mattel
Jul 252011
 

Last week, the National Law Journal reported that MGA Entertainment has agreed to discovery master Robert O’Brien’s recommendation that it be awarded $108 million in attorney’s fees and costs in its litigation against Mattel. O’Brien’s report, which was issued on June 20th, recommended that MGA collect $84 million for defending against Mattel’s copyright claims and $23 million for prosecuting its trade secret claims against Mattel. Continue reading »

Massachusetts Attorney General Files Complaint Against Utility Company For Excessive Legal Fees

 Posted by at 10:21 am  BigLaw, Overbilling  Comments Off on Massachusetts Attorney General Files Complaint Against Utility Company For Excessive Legal Fees
Jul 212011
 

The Boston Globe recently reported that Attorney General Martha Coakley is asking regulators to investigate the more than $18 million in legal fees  New England Gas Co. passed on the Massachusetts customers.  On July 7th, The Attorney General’s office filed a complaint with the Department of Public Utilities alleging that New England Gas Co. billed customers for “excessive and impudently incurred” fees. Continue reading »

Wine Association Awarded $678,435 in Attorney’s Fees

 Posted by at 12:42 pm  Court Decisions  Comments Off on Wine Association Awarded $678,435 in Attorney’s Fees
Jul 202011
 

Judge Rya Zobel, of the District of Massachusetts court, awarded $678,435.00 in attorney fees and expenses to a wine association after an almost five-year suit against a Massachusetts state agency. In Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins, plaintiffs challenged a Massachusetts state statute which banned large wineries from directly shipping to the state’s consumers. Continue reading »

5 Things to Watch Out for in Legal Billing

 Posted by at 2:57 pm  Corporate Counsel  Comments Off on 5 Things to Watch Out for in Legal Billing
Jul 192011
 

When internal pressures mount to cut the legal fees, here are 5 quick unacceptable billing practices to examine legal invoices for.

Block Billing: Billing time in increments that do not allow a billing coordinator to determine how much time is spent on each specific task is one of the most common practices to be on the lookout for.  Entries that merely list a series of tasks, with an hour amount next to it, make it impossible for a client to figure out how long each task took and should be rejected until specificity is established. Continue reading »

July 15th Weekly Wrap Up

 Posted by at 11:53 am  Weekly Wrap-Up  Comments Off on July 15th Weekly Wrap Up
Jul 152011
 

A Sampling of Legal Fee News from around the country.