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Lawyer Seeks $11,000 an Hour

No, that's not an extra zero or two in the headline: According to this article, Carnival Like Hearing on $93 Million Attorneys Fees Request, litigator Willie Gary is seeking $93.1 million in attorney fees, or an hourly rate of $11,000, for his representation in a $10 billion trade secrets case against Motoroloa that ended in a mistrial. According to the article, Gary claimed that the mistrial resulted from Motorola's violation of the court's sequestration order preventing witnesses from reading or hearing other witness testimony before taking the stand.

At least one lawyer, plaintiffs attorney Walter "Skip" Campbell, testifying for the plaintiff, said Gary is worth $11,000 per hour because of his status as one of the country's top litigators. But another attorney  conceded that he was not aware of any attorney paid $11,000 per hour for a case that ended in a hung jury. And to complicate matters, Gary and his colleagues offered affidavits stating the number of hours they worked but did not present billing records.

It's unfortunate that the plaintiffs case was derailed by Motorola's lack of compliance. For that, sanctions are undoubtedly justified. And without question, Gary is entitled to payment for his time. But without knowing what the actual outcome would be had the case gone to trial, a fee request of $11,000 is difficult to justify.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on April 12, 2007 at 06:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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