It has been reported that the Wisconsin Senate has passed the Republican-backed bill that would cap attorneys’ fees in consumer cases. Senate Bill 12 was written after a car dealership allegedly paid over $150,000 in attorneys’ fees for a customer’s claim that they charged $5,000 in unauthorized repairs. The Senate voted on October 27th, resulting in a 17-15 approval.
A collection of legal fee articles…
Businesses Sue Lawyer & O’Quinn Firm, Seeking $110 Million (Texas Lawyer) – Two businesses (collectively referred to as “Gulf Coast”) are seeking $110 million in damages for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty against Russel Lloyd and the firm John M. Quinn & Associates of Houston. The businesses allege that the firm missed deadlines and that they had a strong cause of action for damages of over $110 million in their California case. Instead, Gulf Coast was facing an award of attorneys’ fees in Alabama for $1 million dollars, and alleged they were forced to abandon their California appeal in order to secure a $500,000 settlement in the Alabama case. Quinn refers to the case as having an unfortunate result, but maintains there was no breaches of duty. Currently the firm is in the midst of winding down its affairs due to the death of John M. Quinn two years ago. – http://www.law.com/jsp/tx/PubArticleTX.jsp?id=1202519747288&slreturn=1
In 2007, the City Council of Ontario approved the construction of a Wal-Mart supercenter. A lawsuit by residents who opposed the project soon followed.
The law firms of Dewey & LeBoeuf and Young, Conway, Stargatt & Taylor have recently encountered their second attack on the Dodgers’ bankruptcy case in relation to fee disputes. The first came on September 23, when Major League Baseball alleged that the law firms were working in the interests of Frank McCourt, the team’s owner, instead of the Dodgers. The second is in regards to a finance deal with Highbridge Principal Strategies.
Articles of note on legal fees….
Sooners Accumulating Basketball Legal Fees (ESPN) – The University of Oklahoma has allegedly paid more than $50,000 dollars to the law firm of Bond, Schoenck, and King since 2009 for investigations into their second major recruiting violation in the past 5 years. The firm has a specialty in NCAA compliance issues. The University has already admitted 2 serious violations by an assistant coach, and is having the firm audit the rest of their internal regulations. Although they have already spent over $50,000 dollars on the investigation, it pales in comparison to the over $800,000 spent by Ohio State on investigations based on violations by their football team. http://espn.go.com/dallas/story/_/id/7120347/ncaa-rules-violation-investigation-costs-oklahoma-more-50000
According to a recent report by the National Law Journal, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real significantly reduced a fee request made by the lawyers in the Prius headlight lawsuit.
A Pittsburgh man has been awarded $62,000 in attorneys’ fees after winning just $269 in a federal court case. The Associated Press reported that a verdict was handed down two months ago in favor of 29-year old Robert Rucker after a federal jury found that police officers wrongfully used a stun gun on him.
The town of Brookline, NH has exceeded its legal budget for the second straight year due to labor issues. Last year, a budget of $10,000 turned into over $51,000 in fees to cover legal costs associated with the firing of Police Chief Thomas Goulden. This year, although $20,000 was budgeted for the town legal fees, police department legal issues have already taken up $25,000. Along with $21,000 spent on the firing of Sgt. Michael Kurland, legal advice was needed with regard to union issues. “While I’m not pleased with the fact that we’ve overspent the legal budget, I am very comfortable with the fact that the moneys that have been spent were important to protect the interests of the town,” Selectmen Chairman Tad Putney said during a phone interview (with the Nashua Telegraph) on Thursday.
The New York State Supreme Court, Third Appellate Division, has reinstated attorney Louis Rosenthal after a two year suspension for charging excessive legal fees. Rosenthal had handled estates of decedents who died without written wills or close relatives and served as counsel to the Brooklyn public administrator from 1997-2002.
A collection of Legal Fee articles from the past week…
Hurricane’s Booster Bankruptcy Case Heats Up Over Legal Fees (Miami Herald) – Robert Shapiro, the notorious University of Miami Booster/Ponzi scheme artist, has his bankruptcy case currently involved in a struggle over legal fees. Amid accusations of misappropriation of corporate funds, the bankruptcy trustee is attempting to collect money for legal services rendered to Shapiro by former government officials Guy Lewis and Michael Tein. The trustee alleges the estate should recover funds because the legal services were provided to Shapiro the person, as opposed to Capital Investments, the bankrupt company. Other battles in the bankruptcy are over a 58 foot yacht that was used to entertain collegiate football players at the University. http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/10/11/2449217/um-booster-shapiros-bankruptcy.html