Weekly Wrap Up 1/27/12

 Posted by at 3:16 pm  Weekly Wrap-Up  Comments Off on Weekly Wrap Up 1/27/12
Jan 272012
 

A collection of legal fees news from the previous week…

$89,000 Legal Fee Approved Despite $500 Award (NY Law Journal) – Despite receiving only a $500 award in her suit alleging excessive force in an arrest, a NY Judge awarded an $89,000 legal fee to her attorney.  Judge Jack B. Weinstein ruled in the case of Brown v. Starrett City Associates in the Eastern District of New York and confirmed a magistrate judge’s recommendations on fees. Under the Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Award Act, the judge ruled plaintiff was entitled to an award of fees.  The defendant’s protested the award, claiming it was merely de minimis or nominal. The judge rejected that argument on two counts, first citing a public policy issue that the very act of liability was all that is necessary; and secondly on grounds that the award was not de minimis. Jury instructions specified a de minimis award of $1. The Magistrate Judge further noted this was a unique constitutional issue, and it was on the record plaintiff’s attorney had performed “exceptionally” well.

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Alternative Fee Arrangements Gaining Popularity Among Large and Boutique Firms

 Posted by at 9:53 am  Alternative Fee Arrangements, BigLaw  Comments Off on Alternative Fee Arrangements Gaining Popularity Among Large and Boutique Firms
Jan 202012
 

The Washington Post recently reported that the use of alternative fee arrangements in law firms has not only become much more prevalent but has also contributed to an increase in client billing.   The Post notes the success of “flexible” and efficient billing strategies among small law firms and the digression from the individual hourly rates system. Continue reading »

Jefferson County Study Shows Legal Fees Are a “Major Expense”

 Posted by at 3:15 pm  Overbilling  Comments Off on Jefferson County Study Shows Legal Fees Are a “Major Expense”
Jan 162012
 

A study out of Jefferson County, Alabama reports that legal fees have proven to be a “major expense” for its taxpayers.  The study, released by Commissioner George Brown, shows that the county spent approximately $30 million on legal costs and fees over the last 5 years.  Fifty different law firms have billed the county during this time period. Continue reading »

Nevada Governor Questions $6 Million in Legal Fees to Defend Freeway Construction Lawsuit

 Posted by at 11:28 am  Corporate Counsel, Overbilling  Comments Off on Nevada Governor Questions $6 Million in Legal Fees to Defend Freeway Construction Lawsuit
Jan 132012
 

The Las Vegas Sun recently reported that the state of Nevada will pay a Virginia law firm $6 million in legal fees to defend a $40 million suit brought against the transportation department (NDOT).  The suit relates to an $85 million contract between Ames Construction Company and the NDOT to build a section of freeway in Carson City.  Ames claims that the state caused delays, forcing it to lose money.  Continue reading »

D.C. to Pay Over $1 Million for Attorneys’ Fees Incurred in Second Amendment Case

 Posted by at 10:43 am  Court Decisions  Comments Off on D.C. to Pay Over $1 Million for Attorneys’ Fees Incurred in Second Amendment Case
Jan 032012
 

United States District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has awarded $1,132,182 in legal fees to the lawyers who worked on the landmark Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller.  In 2003, Dick Heller sued the District of Columbia for its ban on handgun ownership.  The United States Supreme Court ultimately ruled in 2008 that such ban violated the Second Amendment, forcing the District of Columbia to rewrite its gun laws. Continue reading »