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Weekly Wrap Up 11/11/2011

A collection of Legal Fee News for the week…

Details of Fee Settlement in Segregation Case Unsealed (The Daily World) – A federal judge recently unsealed the details of a settlement agreement stemming from a school segregation lawsuit encompassing the past 40 years. Last week, the school board of St. Landy’s Parish in Louisiana approved an $800,000 settlement for attorney Marion Overton White for her 40 years of work on the case. White claimed he worked 14,316.5 hours on the case at an hourly rate of $350, leading to an over $5,000,000 fee request. He later asked the court that the amount be doubled to $10 million dollars. The initial suit, Monteilh v. St. Landy Parish School Board was settled this year with redistricting and the creation of new programs.

Raymond James & Associates Wins Fee Award in Florida FINRA Hearing (Forbes) – Raymond James & Associates recently received an award for attorneys’ fees in a FINRA arbitration hearing. Respondent disputed the award, arguing that Florida law did not permit it. The arbitrator ultimately decided against them, in a 2 pronged decision. First, the arbitrator ruled that Michigan law governed because of the bond contract signed. (Michigan law allows arbitrators to award attorneys’ fees.) Secondly, the fees were viewed as reasonable, especially in regard to the length of the litigation.

Numerous Objectionable Billing Practices Result in Reduction to Attorney Fee Award by More than $9,600 (Sterling Analytics) – Recently, a district court in Hawaii assessed the billing practices of two attorneys when their clients prevailed on their civil rights claim. The successful party in such a case is entitled to an award of his attorneys’ fees and costs, provided the court determines the requested award is reasonable. In reviewing the bills at issue, the court found several improper billing practices that warranted a reduction in the overall award. Overall, the deductions imposed resulted in a fee award that was approximately $9,600 less than originally requested.

5 Ways to Pay Less in Attorneys’ Fees (Reuters c/o Findlaw) – Reuters recently distributed an article listing how small business owners can save money on their legal spend. While not diminishing the value of a good attorney, the author pointed to several areas where the owners can take a proactive approach. Coming prepared to meetings and meeting with your counsel before a problem arises were just two of the tips offered by the author.

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