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Weekly Wrap Up 9/2/2011

A collection of Legal Fee news articles from the past week…

Rick Perry Proposes “Loser Pays” Legal model (Washington Times)– The English model of attorneys’ fees involves the loser paying the victors costs in civil litigation. Conservative Texas Governor and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry looked across the pond to implement tort reform in Texas. During his signing statement, Perry said it would “provides defendants and judges with a variety of tools that will cut down on frivolous and costly claims in Texas.” No statement was made about potentially limiting plaintiff’s access to court.

Disbarred Lawyer Fined for 2009 Fraud (Buffalo News) – You need to be a lawyer to collect attorneys fees and retainers, but disbarred Erie County Legislator David Dale never got the memo. A five member New York State panel of appellate judges cited Dale for criminal contempt of court and fined him $1,000 for continuing to hold himself out as an attorney. Dale was performing estate work similar to that which got him disbarred.

Clifton City Issues With Leader Costs City Additional $23,000 (Clifton Journal) – A councilwoman’s fee request after a legal battle over a vote abstention costs Clifton an additional $23,494.74 in legal fees. A town municipal attorney was unavailable to represent her as a conflict of interest. The city, howevever, had to retain outside counsel due to that conflicts of interest.

Vague, Block-Billed and Duplicative Billing Entries Lead to a $60,000 Fee Reduction (Sterling Analytics) In a recent case from the United States District Court of Texas, the plaintiff sought attorneys’ fees in excess of $114,000 for the services of two attorneys, both of whom are solo practitioners, and a paralegal. The court found that both attorneys engaged in block-billing. Second, the court found the attorneys’ billing records contained vague descriptions of the services performed.

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