Tuesday, November 25, 2008
$500 an hour!
The WSJ reported earlier this week that certain plaintiffs' firms have been billing us out at over $500 an hour! And they say they can't afford to kick us over a measly health insurance contribution, or they can't find the funds necessary to house us in a halfway decent working environment. Pathetic.
"After a big class-action settlement, how much should a plaintiffs’ firm be allowed to recover for its use of temporary lawyers? As much as $100 per hour? $200 per hour? More?
The issue recently came up in a class-action settlement involving a $750 million settlement with Xerox and its former auditor, KPMG. According to the story, from Forbes.com, a fee request pending in a Connecticut district court suggests that the lawyers who negotiated the deal want to take home roughly $83 million in fees for the temp lawyers, who only cost the firm an estimated $11 million in the first place. The $83 million sum reportedly represents more than half of the $150 million the lawyers want to take home for their trouble.
According to the story, Stephen Vasil, a Yale Law School graduate, and Andrew Gilman, a New York University law grad, were hired through a temp agency to work on the Xerox case. Vasil says they often performed work that didn’t exactly require their pricey law degrees, including reviewing electronic documents to identify their author and destination. Vasil was paid $35 an hour, Gilman, $40. Yet the law firms in the case are asking for roughly $500 an hour for their services.
'We joked we could hire a bunch of 10-year-olds to do it for us,' says Vasil, 34."