Tag Archives: legal fee

New Jersey Casino: Contingent fees are not for everyone

New Jersey sued Exxon Mobil for billions in environmental damages, using a private law firm, which gets a big piece of the taxpayers’ pie, even though the state has plenty of lawyers of its own who are paid much less.  … Continue reading

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Trolls Have It: Patent plaintiff loses, but prevails on legal fee issue

While the law is supposed to be objective and the results of lawsuits foreordained by the facts and law, litigation is really an art (not a science) and a gamble entirely dependent on human unpredictability.  The outcome of litigation depends … Continue reading

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Debt to Society: Prosecutors lending official letterhead to debt collectors

People call or email me all the time with situations they think involve unethical or incompetent behavior by lawyers.  Malpractice and unethical conduct are two different things and they are handled very differently — one by the courts (or maybe … Continue reading

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Lucky Charms: Law firms add offshore offices for low cost, high profit document review

One of the largest law firms in the world is touting its new “back office” in Belfast, Northern Ireland, joining a prior “back office” in the Philippines.  These operations seek to use ultra low cost personnel at local wages to … Continue reading

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Grave Robbers: Estate planning requires special attention to legal fee management

We get many complaints from clients, family members, and others about the legal fees and other charges taken out of estates and trusts by lawyers, banks, and others working in various capacities, e.g., as trustees, executors, or lawyers to the … Continue reading

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Premium Gas: Supreme Court’s Octane decision accelerates patent fee-shifting

Without making any substantive change to patent law itself, the US Supreme Court has made a radical change to intellectual property litigation, especially patent infringement cases.  The change comes by reinterpreting the circumstances in which a prevailing patent litigant may … Continue reading

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Start Your Engines: Motown bankruptcy legal fees under scrutiny by billable posse

The hottest new bankruptcy involves the City of Detroit.  Early on, the bankruptcy judge announced he would appoint a fee examiner, to make sure the money (much of it committed to employee retirement funds, apparently) wouldn’t be wasted on legal … Continue reading

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Splitting Hairs: Billing small tasks by the hour doesn’t add up

We need public defenders to represent criminal defendants who cannot afford their own lawyer, where there are serious charges involved.  (You don’t get a free lawyer for a routine DUI, for example.)  But paying these defenders is a political football:  … Continue reading

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Got Rats?: Panicked parish signs lopsided fee agreement

Remember the Pied Piper of Hamelin?  He made a deal to rid Hamelin of rats, but the village didn’t pay, so he used his magic pipe to kidnap all the town’s children.  Here’s a story about a Louisiana parish ravaged … Continue reading

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Curses, Spammed Again: Trademark lawyers peddle their wares to a skeptical audience

Sometimes I get the chance to experience the legal system first hand, but from the civilian’s perspective.  For example, sometimes one of my companies is a member of a class that gets notices about class action settlements we can opt … Continue reading

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