Michigan Governor: Bankruptcy is Right for Detroit

 Posted by at 10:37 am  Bankruptcy  Comments Off on Michigan Governor: Bankruptcy is Right for Detroit
Oct 312013
 

On Monday, Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan defended Detroit’s bankruptcy filing as a final effort to prevent the city’s lengthy financial decline.  “‘This is a crisis,’ the governor said in United States Bankruptcy Court. ‘It still is a crisis today.’”

The governor was testifying in the trial on whether Detroit met federal eligibility rules when it filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in July of this year.  He approved the bankruptcy filing on July 18 based on the recommendation of Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager. Continue reading »

Legal Costs Doubled as Birmingham’s Outside Legal Fees Rise

 Posted by at 1:46 pm  Interesting Fee Cases, Overbilling  Comments Off on Legal Costs Doubled as Birmingham’s Outside Legal Fees Rise
Oct 242013
 

Every year the law department for the city of Birmingham, Alabama has the same goal – “To continue to decrease the number of cases referred to outside counsel and to continue to closely monitor those cases already referred by assigning various Assistant City Attorneys to monitory their progress.”

However, exactly the opposite has transpired.  In the past five years “legal costs at the City of Birmingham have doubled from about $3.5 million to more than $7 million.” Nearly half of the new expenses go to outside lawyers, and the rest is the result of the legal department’s rising administrative costs. Continue reading »

Citizens Amassed $100 Million in Legal Fees in Two Years

 Posted by at 1:51 pm  Interesting Fee Cases  Comments Off on Citizens Amassed $100 Million in Legal Fees in Two Years
Oct 172013
 

A report released by Citizens Property Insurance stated that the insurer spent a little more than $100 million in legal fees over the past two years.  It blames the high legal bills on a handful of aggressive Miami-Dade County law firms.  According to Citizens the county “accounts for 33 percent of all reported claims and 60 percent of all litigated claims statewide.”

About ten law firms are “responsible for 50 percent of the lawsuits against the company and 60 percent o f those suits come from Miami-Dade.”  Barry Gilway, CEO of Citizens, said, “Claims are increasing because Citizens is a target.” Continue reading »

Judge Approves Plaintiff’s Request for $1.03 Million in Attorneys’ Fees

 Posted by at 11:13 am  Court Decisions, Interesting Fee Cases  Comments Off on Judge Approves Plaintiff’s Request for $1.03 Million in Attorneys’ Fees
Oct 082013
 

On September 25, 2013, Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen was awarded $1.03 million in attorneys’ fees to cover expenses for his six-week trial.   This was ten percent less than he requested, but substantially more than the 90-percent discount requested by his prior client, Las Vegas Sands Corp.

More than half of Suen’s legal bill after winning his trial – $593,000 out of $1.17 million – was for slides that aided in his case explanation and the “cost of hiring a trial technician to ensure hundreds of pieces of evidence popped up on big-screen monitors on cue.” Continue reading »

Firm’s Fees Lowered for Charging Associate Rates for Law Clerk Work

 Posted by at 2:59 pm  Overbilling  Comments Off on Firm’s Fees Lowered for Charging Associate Rates for Law Clerk Work
Oct 012013
 

A federal judge recently slashed the legal fees of a law firm that tried to charge its $200 per hour associate rate for work done by an attorney who did most of her case work before she was admitted to practice law.

Getman & Sweeney, a New Paltz law firm, asked for almost $138,000 in fees and expenses related to a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) class action on behalf of exotic dancers.  “Western District Chief Judge William Skretny cut the amount to about $79,000.” Continue reading »