Posts Tagged ‘feeing frenzy’

CCAF amicus brief in fen-phen fees case

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.

K&L Gates blasted for high fees, “unnecessary lawyering”

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.

November 23 roundup

“Golden receivers”

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]

May 6 roundup

  • 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]

Microblog 2008-01-04

  • 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]

  • Kid gloves from some local media for Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd & his magic mortgages [Christopher Fountain and again]

  • Had Robertson v. Princeton donor-intent suit gone to trial, lawyers might have billed $120 million hourly fees. How’d the number get that high? [Kennerly, Litigation & Trial and again]

  • A reminder: these microblog posts are based on a selection of my contributions to Twitter, which you can “follow” here.

December 11 roundup

  • Nastygrams fly at Christmas time over display and festival use of “Jingle Bells”, Grinch, etc. [Elefant]
  • Claims that smoking ban led to instantaneous plunge in cardiac deaths in Scotland turns out to be as fishy as similar claims elsewhere [Siegel on tobacco via Sullum, Reason “Hit and Run”]
  • Myths about the costs and consequences of an automaker Chapter 11 filing [Andrew Grossman, Heritage; Boudreaux, WSJ] Drowning in mandates and Congress throws them an anchor [Jenkins, WSJ]
  • Mikal Watts may be the most generous of the trial lawyers bankrolling the Texas Democratic Party’s recent comeback [Texas Watchdog via Pero]
  • Disney settles ADA suit demanding Segway access at Florida theme parks “by agreeing to provide disabled guests with at least 15 newly-designed four-wheeled vehicles.” [OnPoint News, earlier]
  • Update on Scientology efforts to prevent resale of its “e-meter” devices on eBay [Coleman]
  • Scary: business-bashing lawprof Frank Pasquale wants the federal government to regulate Google’s search algorithm [Concurring Opinions, SSRN]
  • Kind of an endowment all by itself: “Princeton is providing $40 million to pay the legal fees of the Robertson family” (after charges of endowment misuse) [MindingTheCampus]

“Nice Work If You Can Get It”

Berman DeValerio Pease and other class action lawyers in the settlement of a case against Xerox want reimbursement of about $500 an hour for time spent by temporary attorneys who say they were getting $35/ and $40/hour. “Documents in the Xerox case also suggest the plaintiff lawyers spread the markup on temp attorneys among themselves, sometimes in puzzling ways. Partners at Bernstein Litowitz, a big New York class action firm, spent less than 20 hours on the case, according to court reports. Yet the firm wants $7.5 million for the 15,000 hours” its temps put in. (Daniel Fisher, Forbes, Dec. 8). Eight years ago we recounted how Maryland tort magnate Peter Angelos was expecting to reap between $15,000 and $30,000 an hour on legal work a large chunk of which had been carried out by $12/hour lawyer temps.