Big Ted Frank victory on attorney fee markups

by Walter Olson on August 2, 2013

Longtime Overlawyered blogger Ted Frank just saved class members more than $25 million in a case in which his Center for Class Action Fairness had objected to the attorneys’ fee request in a settlement against Citigroup. Ted argued that the plaintiff’s lawyers were marking up to associate-level rates, at $400/hour or more, the work of contract attorneys who were being paid $50/hour or less for document review and similar tasks. Accepting the critique in part, the “order by U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein in New York cut the fee award to Kirby McInerney by $26.7 million to $70.8 million.” [Daniel Fisher/Forbes, WSJ, Point of Law and more]

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PointOfLaw Forum
08.02.13 at 9:10 am


1 Ted 08.02.13 at 8:36 am

Especially appalling was the 15% of the lodestar billed by contract attorneys hired after the case had settled to do purely paper-shuffling document review.

2 Ed 08.02.13 at 10:35 am

It’s just so sad that these poor lawyers will only have to get by on $70.8 million. How will they live? It should be the other way around, they should have only gotten the $26.7 million. In reality they should get nothing, by committing billing fraud they should be disbarred and prosecuted. If I did this in a private business, I’d end up in jail.

3 Bob Lipton 08.02.13 at 3:45 pm

I have no objections to what Ted has done, but who is the beneficiary? Will the members of the class benefit by splitting a larger pot, or will Citi benefit by not having to pay these lawyers?


4 Ted 08.02.13 at 4:30 pm

The class members get the $26 million.

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