A collection of legal fees news from the past week…
Super Bowl Week Reveals Super Legal Fees (AM Law Daily) – With fans gearing up for Sunday’s big game, it seems apropos that the NFL Players’ Association released their annual LM-2 filing, detailing expenses between March 1, 2010 and February 28, 2011. The report revealed a massive build up in spending leading to the lockout which commenced on March 12, 2011, and subsequent decertification by the NFLPA. According to the report, approximately 63.2 million dollars was spent on representational activity in the period reported on. Amongst law firms leading the way were Latham & Watkins ($ 3.1 million), Dewey & LeBoeuf ($2.9 million), and Patton Boggs ($ 948, 983). Interestingly, the head of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, is a former Latham and Patton Boggs partner. Those two firms have moved in on the legal sphere traditionally occupied by Dewey and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Court Reduces Fee Request by Nearly $190,000, Finding Travel Time, Block-Billed, Redundant and Unnecessary Time Entries (Sterling Analytics) In a recent decision from the Superior Court of Connecticut, the court reduced the plaintiff’s request for attorneys’ fees by nearly 30 %. After prevailing on a number of unfair trade practice claims against the defendant, the plaintiff moved for an award of attorneys’ fees pursuant to a Connecticut statute. The plaintiff’s motion requested $635,332.93 in attorneys’ fees for services rendered by two law firms, a New Mexico law firm acting as lead counsel and a Connecticut law firm acting as local counsel.
The court found that, at first glance, the number of entries contained in the billing records did not seem excessive. The court also noted that the case was of a complex nature and was highly contested. The matter involved ten days of trial, pretrial motions and hearings, and discovery controversies. Although it found that the time spent by counsel was warranted, “the court is bound to review the claimed fees as to their reasonableness.”
Costa Mesa Outsourcing Legal Costs: $400,000 and Rising (Orange County Register) – Costa Mesa’s decision to outsource employment disputes to law firms has cost the county $400,000 in legal costs, which are still rising. Jones Day has reportedly charged the city almost $400,000 (at $495/ hr) to handle a lawsuit from the Costa Mesa City Employees Association that seeks to stop a city plan to lay off over 200 employees. The Association is alleging that the council acted illegally in its plan to outsource city services. The city is mounting what it terms “a vigorous” defense, and had paid over $1,000,000 in legal fees through November. Jones Day has not submitted invoices for December or January yet.