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Weekly Wrap Up 9/30/2011

A Sampling of Legal Fee Articles from Around the Internet…

Madoff Trustee Suffers Blow – (Thomson Reuters) – Irvin Picard, attorney from Baker Hostetler, suffered a blow in his attempt to recover funds from the owners of the New York Mets, throwing out 9 of 11 counts, and more importantly at least $614 million dollars out of the $1 billion dollars he was attempting to collect. As a result of the setback, an initial distribution of $272 million dollars to the victims of the Ponzi scheme has been postponed. This recent ruling comes on the heels of another decision that limited Picard to seeking profits from the previous two years from HSBC and puts an additional $6.2 billion of attempted recovery in question. Currently the firm of Baker Hostetler has billed over $220 million dollars against the estate.

Court Reduces Fee Request by 75%, Disallowing Duplicative Work, Clerical Time and Overhead (Sterling Analytics) – Pursuant to a subcontract agreement, the defendants, as prevailing parties in an action commenced against them, filed an application for reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and costs. The defendants were represented by three law firms, all of which submitted billing records to support the fee request. The defendants’ fee application requested approximately $230,000 in attorneys’ fees. The court significantly reduced this request, only awarding the defendants $58,826.16 in attorneys’ fees and costs. –

Ontario Judge Blasts Fees (Legal Feeds) – An Ontario Judge reduced the amount of costs sought and reduced the rates charged by attorneys. He also criticezed the attorneys for overstaffing the case. However, the most interesting part of the ruling was where he openly criticized the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario for ” labours in the Dark Ages of document management.”

He also said “It is now apparent that those who manage this court’s document intake system do not intend to introduce e-filing in the foreseeable future. . . . In an age when those who use our courts create electronically the documents by which they conduct their business and personal affairs, for a court such as ours to continue in its inability to communicate with its users by electronic means risks creating a serious gap between the public and their courts, thereby endangering the legitimacy of our court system.”

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