Earlier this Month, Facebook filed a request for over $700,000 in legal fees with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals following an unsuccessful lawsuit against the website by users outraged over the use of their names and images in the company’s ads. The appeal seeks to overturn the U.S. District Court ruling that Facebook isn’t entitled to recoup their legal costs “as a matter of law” following the dismissal of the case, reports Media Post News.
New Yorker Craig Dershowitz refuses to give up the custody battle over his pet “puggle” Knuckles (half pug, half beagle), even though he has already spent upwards of $60,000 in legal fees, reports the New York Post. The controversy began when Dershowitz’s ex-girlfriend took the dog with her when she moved across the country to California following their break up. Dershowitz’s court papers filed earlier this year in Manhattan claim that ex, Sarah Brega, “kidnapped” the dog that he considers to be his “son”. In an ongoing effort to get the dog back through legal channels, Dershowitz laments that he’s already spent almost his entire life savings.
A New York trial court adopted Sterling Analytics’ expert opinion that a title insurer’s obligation to pay for the defense of a title action was not worth more than $600,000 in fees claimed by petitioner, but only $38,840 in “reasonable” fees. The action involved the defense of a dispute between a homeowner and the Village of Scarsdale concerning a strip of land adjoining the residence. The insurer had disclaimed coverage, but the court later found that a defense was required, resulting in a fee submission by the defense attorney to the title insurer for several years of defense work.
State and municipal budget problems have been well documented over the last few years. The last thing counties need are inflated legal bills. But that’s exactly what happened to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. According to the Times Leader, Luzerne County spent $334,000 on legal costs for parents in Children and Youth cases last year, more than twice their $125,000 budget.
A Times Leader investigation revealed that the high bills were at least in part due to improper attorney billing practices, including one lawyer who doubled billed the county for travel time. After being approached by a reporter, the offending attorney admitted her mistake, alerted the county, and hired a forensic accountant to audit her records. The audit revealed that the county had been overcharged by $59,042, largely due to the burden of a heavy case load and errors in the way bills were processed.
It’s that time of year again when many Americans receive their federal tax rebates in the mail, but an estimated 200,000 will be breathing a sigh of relief for a quite unexpected reason – their tax rebate will provide them with enough money to file for bankruptcy. A recent joint study from the University of Chicago and Columbia University reported a dramatic spike in bankruptcy filings in previous years right after people received their tax returns. According to CNN Money, the average cost of a Chapter 7 proceeding is over $1500; a price that many individuals, couples and businesses cannot afford.
In a business model somewhat foreign to attorneys here in the United States, Riverview Law, a corporate services firm specializing in fixed-fee billing, has rolled out a new divorce service with fixed-fee packages to minimize the unexpected legal costs of divorce. However – one aspect that should be familiar to stateside lawyers is that the top quality legal service supplied in this situation is unavailable to those without the means to afford it. The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch reports that the service will include access to the nation’s best divorce attorneys at guaranteed prices; but only if your assets are worth an excess of £500,000.
Members of a class of Netflix subscribers are so unhappy with the settlement result reached in an antitrust suit regarding Netflix’s marketing agreement with Wal-Mart that they have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to overturn it. The settlement in the amount of $27.2 million gives plaintiffs’ lawyers over $8 million in legal fees; an amount the class members argue is in violation of federal law that requires the terms to be in the best interest of the class.
The Albuquerque Journal is reporting that New Mexico’s Court of Appeals recently ordered a District Judge to recalculate the legal fees and costs sustained by a local newspaper in a public records case. The Rio Grande Sun and one of its reporters brought a lawsuit against the Jemez Mountain School District requesting they make available certain public records associated with embezzlement at the school.