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Weekly Wrap Up 11/4/2011

A collection of legal fee articles from the past week…

Lohan’s Legal Fees Rising (HollyScoop) – The Celebrity Gossip web site recently did a retrospective of famed Hollywood bad girl Lindsay Lohan, and uncovered the amount she has spent on legal fees and keeping herself clean over the past 5 years. Proving that crime doesn’t pay, Lohan reportedly has dropped over $1.1 million dollars since 2007. Her fees range from the actual cost of attorneys to court mandated rehab stints. In fact, she reportedly still owes her attorney over $100,000 as of earlier this year due to a lack of work over the past few years.

Miami Attorneys Return $400,000 to Bankruptcy Estate (Miami Herald) – The former federal prosecutors turned defense attorneys representing convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro have agreed to return $400,000 to the bankruptcy estate of Capital Investments USA. Joel Tabas, trustee, alleged that Shapiro incorrectly and illegally diverted funds from the corporation to pay for his own personal legal woes. The corporation was not charged as part of the scheme, although it was the vehicle which Nevin used to defraud the investors of more than 85 million dollars. According to reports, a mediator negotiated the settlement, in which Tabas will take home approximately $167,000 as a contingency fee. The settlement requires approval by a federal judge on December 5th.

Florida District Court Disallows Compensation for Attorneys’ Fees that Include Clerical Tasks and Block Billing (Sterling Analytics) – In 2010, a Florida District Court Judge reduced a fee request by over $6,500. The plaintiff’s attorney sought to be compensated for fees and costs associated with bringing a successful claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act. After determining many of the billing entries were attributed to clerical work and block billed, the court reduced the claim for compensation.

University Doesn’t Have to Pay Legal Fees of Former President (Kansas City Star) – Karen Plintz was president and CEO of the of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences until her firing in December 2009 for allegedly embezzling funds from the school. Under university bylaws the university was obligated to pay her legal fees, but upon her termination they cut off the dollars. She sued, arguing that the bylaws mandated the continued funding of legal expenses. A three judge Missouri appellate panel agreed that the schools obligation to pay her legal fees terminated upon her firing. (As opposed to the recent NewsCorp legal fees scandal, where Murdoch continued paying fees).

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