Some law firms set up a separate business to run their conference rooms, enabling them to charge the rooms out for client meetings rather than treat them as overhead. And watch out for hefty charges for the time spent preparing the client’s bill itself. [Dan Fisher, Forbes]
Criticism continues to mount (“shameful,” “excessive”) over lawyers’ effort to nab $223 million in fees for representing Indian tribes’ interest in the long-running Cobell litigation over management of trust funds. [BLT (quoting former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.), and more (DoJ); PoL; earlier here and here (Kilpatrick Stockton lawyer Keith Harper considered for Tenth Circuit appointment)]
Overlawyered readers are well aware of the sorry history of the fen-phen litigation; those that aren’t are advised to check out Professor Lester Brickman’s summary.
In April 2008, the Diet Drugs MDL district court awarded $567 million the class counsel in that case, basing the award in part on representations by class counsel about future class recovery. A year later, a plaintiff’s attorney requested the court reopen the question of the fee award because the class counsel had exaggerated those estimates. The district court refused, holding that the one-year delay in bringing the Rule 60(b) motion was not a “reasonable time.” There has been an appeal to the Third Circuit, and, today, the Center for Class Action Fairness filed an amicus brief in support of the appeal that itself provides a short overview of the history of the fen-phen MDL. Many thanks to Chris Arfaa for his generous help in filing the brief.
Massachusetts’s highest court thought it a bit much that fees and costs would eat up $800,000 from an estate valued at $1.2 million, or two-thirds of the value at stake. [Robert Ambrogi, Legal Blog Watch; Above the Law]
Incidentally, Robert Ambrogi is hanging up his keyboard after an impressive four-year tenure at Law.com’s Legal Blog Watch, but he’ll continue to maintain his other sites. He has kind words for this site as one to “follow religiously”, too.
- “Ten Ways Lawyers Rip Off Clients” [Lawrence Delevingne and Gus Lubin, Business Insider]
- White House visitor logs contain more entries for trial lawyer lobbyist Linda Lipsen (5x) than for Hillary Clinton (3x) (h/t ShopFloor)
- Time magazine has a cover story on child overprotectiveness [Free-Range Kids]
- “Why so many talented people give up on moving to the US”: one immigrant’s 7 year journey through the legal paperwork [Pete Warden]
- Speaking for the whole New York profession? “New York Bar Association president decries tort reform proposals” [Rizo, Legal NewsLine]
- Chamber of Commerce “needs to develop thicker skin” in response to Yes Men parody [LA Times]
- New York: “Judges collect pension and regular pay, and it’s perfectly legal” [Jonathan Bandler, Journal News]
- Cook County “out $14K for toilet paper injury” [Chicago Sun-Times]
Fees for receivers, administrators and other professionals are eating up too much of the remaining assets of Madoff and other collapsed investment ventures, critics charge: “in one recent $6.6 million fraud, the receiver distributed 43 percent of the assets to the victim — the rest went to professionals.” [NY Post]
- Eeeeuw! Missouri woman’s suit says she was groped by Chuck E. Cheese mascot [Heller/OnPoint News] Parade of other bad things that can happen at theme enterprises and amusement parks [Lemondrop.com]
- “The Doctor Will Sue You Now”: why chapter about scientist-turned-vitamin salesman and his relations with African-leader “AIDS dissidents” is missing from book by British writer Ben Goldacre [BoingBoing]
- Just trying to make an honest living? “A former federal prosecutor who became one of New Jersey’s brashest and best-known criminal defense lawyers pleaded guilty today to helping run an exclusive Manhattan call-girl ring.” [Newark Star-Ledger via ABA Journal]
- “Perez Hilton Sends DMCA Takedown Over Anti-Gay-Marriage Ad” [Citizen Media Law]
- How not to get excused from jury service [Lowering the Bar; Montana, via Smoking Gun, etc.]
- Multiplied vexation: “Stopping a serial suer” [SE Texas Record]
- If exhortation does any good: “Judge Exhorts Class Action Lawyers to Forestall Feeding Frenzy Over Fees” [Henry Gottlieb, NJLJ]
- More on bodega raids by rogue Philadelphia narcotics unit [Radley Balko, earlier here and here]
Must stores let in “social support” goats? Hot ADA issue we’ve often covered makes it into NYTimes mag [Rebecca Skloot] And Time mag tackles scandal of ADA-suit mass filing for $$, long familiar to our readers [Alison Stateman]
Can you guess mechanism by which snow globes turned out to cause fire hazard? (Then check link.) [K.C. Business Journal]
“Do Not Track” legislation could torpedo online-advertising models [ReadWriteWeb h/t @lilyhill]
What if plea-bargaining defendants could give D.A.s eBay-style feedback? [Greenfield]
UK cabinet minister wants govt to regulate Net with aim of child safety, Brit blogger says – hell, no! [Perry de Havilland, Samizdata]
As lawyer-driven mummeries go, which is worse, coffee machine overwarning or medical “informed consent”? [Happy Hospitalist]
Bogus memoirs nowadays spawn real lawsuits, as we remember from James Frey case [Elefant]
Is health care prohibition in our future? [KevinMD]
Massachusetts child support guidelines said to be highly onerous for dads already and getting worse [Bader, CEI]
A reminder: these microblog posts are based on a selection of my contributions to Twitter, which you can “follow” here.