Legal Fee Articles of Note…
Supreme Court Says No To Deciding Attorneys Fees (GamaSutra) – The Supreme Court declined to review the fee petition filed by the gaming industry in the opening of the newest term. The ruling means that the petition will be filed with the 9th circuit, who will have to rule on the appropriateness and amount of the fees in the case. Over 1.1 million dollars have been spent on the case by the plaintff’s so far, who successfully overturned a California statute.
Georgia Attorney General Orders City to Reveal Attorney Contract (Ledger-Enquirer) – The Georgia Attorney general is demanding the city release its contract with a law firm after the city has continued a suit against online travel site Expedia. City officials are currently refusing to reveal the contract, but under the Georgia Open Records law, they are required to release the documents to the public under threat of a misdemeanor. Georgia officials question the appropriateness of the suit post settlement. The state is taking the position that the contract is not protected by attorney-client privilege. “The law has long been established that a contract to employ an attorney is not protected by attorney-client privilege,” (Assistant AG) Ritter wrote. “The refusal to produce the contract in light of a lawful request could be viewed in the present case as a willful act in violation of the law.”
Over 75% of CIT Group’s Bankruptcy Billings Found to be Objectionable (Sterling Analytics) – CIT Group Inc. is a bank holding company, providing lending, advisory, and leasing services to small and middle market businesses. In November 2009, CIT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York. Sterling Analytics Group, a legal cost consulting firm, reviewed CIT’s total billings of $122,369.19 for compliance with ethical guidelines and industry standards. The audit showed questionable charges of $95,029.69. This amounts to more than half, or 77.65%, of the total billings.
Appellate Court Denies Recovery of Fees from Bankruptcy Estate (Leagle) – The 11th Circuit recently upheld the denial of attorneys fees for a firm involved in the administration of a bankruptcy estate. The Trustee was seeking recovery for the firm. The Court pointed to the excessive numbers of pleadings filed and decided that the district court did not abuse its discretion in the denial. It further criticized the Trustee for failing to make legal arguments and using broad policy language in the appeal. The trustee was seeking an extension of public policy used in previous cases.
In re: Creative Desperation, Inc. No. 11-12191, Non-Argument Calendar. available at http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?page=1&xmldoc=In%20FCO%2020111005085.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR&SizeDisp=7