Block-Billed Entries Lead to Block Cuts to Invoices

 Posted by at 2:46 pm  Court Decisions, Interesting Fee Cases, Overbilling, Weekly Wrap-Up  Comments Off on Block-Billed Entries Lead to Block Cuts to Invoices
May 312016
 

Law firms who practice block-billing are opening themselves up to the risk of having their billed fees greatly reduced. Block-billing makes it incredibly difficult for courts, and clients, to determine the reasonableness of the attorney time spent on each task, and therefore, courts across the country have routinely decided to make substantial percentage deductions to attorneys’ fees, ranging from 10-25%.

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Billing For Clerical Tasks – A Form of Double Billing?

 Posted by at 10:34 am  Court Decisions, Interesting Fee Cases, Overbilling, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Billing For Clerical Tasks – A Form of Double Billing?
May 182016
 

Courts are often tasked with determining the amount of attorneys’ fees to award the prevailing party in various types of litigation.  In Snell v. North Thurston School District, the Court was tasked with determining the amount of attorneys’ fees to be awarded to the prevailing party in an American with Disabilities Act suit.  2015 WL 8621913 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 14, 2015).  The Plaintiff, Wendy Snell, successfully sued her daughter’s school district for unlawful discrimination by failing to accommodate her daughter’s disabilities.  After determining that the Plaintiff was a prevailing party under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Court considered several issues to determine the proper award of attorneys’ fees.  These issues included the determination of a reasonable hourly rate and reasonable hours expended in light of block billing within the Plaintiff’s attorney’s invoices, the Plaintiff’s degree of success, and most notably, clerical and duplicative work billed by a paralegal.

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You’ve Gotta “Fight for Your Right” to Attorneys’ Fees but Block Billing, Vagueness, and Duplicate Work Can “Sabotage” those Efforts

 Posted by at 10:28 am  Overbilling  Comments Off on You’ve Gotta “Fight for Your Right” to Attorneys’ Fees but Block Billing, Vagueness, and Duplicate Work Can “Sabotage” those Efforts
May 032016
 

After almost four years subsequent to the initial filing of this copyright infringement action, the court addressed defendants’ motion for attorneys’ fees and costs. TufAmerica, Inc. v. Diamond 2006 WL 1029553 (S.D.N.Y. March 9, 2016).  The court had previously granted defendants’ motion to dismiss for four claims and granted their motion for summary judgment for the remaining claims.   Although the defendants (consisting of the Beastie Boys, Universal-Polygram International Publishing, and Capitol Records) prevailed in this high-profile sampling case, the court acknowledged that this does not necessarily mean that they would be entitled to attorneys’ fees under Section 505 of the Copyright Act.  The main issue of the action revolved around the plaintiff’s standing to enforce the copyright in question.  Because it was found that one co-owner of the copyright was not a signatory to a contract seeming to convey an exclusive license to the plaintiff, it was determined that the plaintiff was not an exclusive license holder and, therefore, could not sue.  The substantive issue of whether there was actual infringement was never even reached. Continue reading »