I assume everyone saw the fire fee ruling by Judge Rodriguez, right? The DBR story is here. But the real meat is in the Court’s order, which you can review here.In summary the Court reduced the requested multiplier (which was five) to two, and slashed attorney Richard Williams’ lodestar by more than half, finding that many of the verified time entries were not supported by competent evidence. Here’s what the Court said:
In addition, during his testimony Mr. Williams testified that the program he was using to enter his time spent on this matter, which he referred to as “an electronic billing system, did not contain any of the data that he had put into it.” Therefore, as stated by Mr. Williams, “my fee statement is based on, for the most part, my reconstruction.” It should be noted that this fact is not mentioned on any page of the verified fee statement or the affidavit filed by Mr. Williams nor is this fact mentioned to the Court in CLASS COUNSEL’S Supplemental Motion for Award of Fees nor was the fact mentioned to either of the experts brought in by CLASS COUNSEL to testify on their behalf.
Alrighty then! Wow, what does Richard think of having a statement like that in a Court order where you are seeking to be paid five million dollars:
“Everybody connected with it has to be gratified,” he said. “Do I think I should have gotten more money? Of course. But I’m not the decision maker, and you wouldn’t want me to be the decision maker.” . . . .
“My hours were real,” Williams said, adding he didn’t think keeping records as the work was being done would have affected the outcome much.
Let’s see, this is a case that was notorious to begin with, and involved highly noxious allegations against Hank Adorno and the City and already generated one scathing 3d DCA opinion. On top of that much of lead counsel’s time was reconstructed after the fact.
Why seek a multiplier of five in such circumstances? Oy.