Thursday, December 01, 2005

Is $4,000 too much in fees for a 4-page brief?

In this post, Ernie talks about Judge Posner and his opinion in Budget Rent-a-car System, Inc. v. Consolidated Equity LLC.

Judge Posner wrote:

"We ordered that sanctions be imposed on Consolidated Equity for this frivolous appeal, Fed. R. App. P. 38, and Budget has submitted a statement of its fees and costs. They are exorbitant. Because the appeal was dismissed before briefing, Budget’s only appellate submission was a four-page jurisdictional memo that cites five cases. Budget claims that the memo cost $4,626.50 to produce (3.3 partner hours at $425 per hour and 10.4 associate hours at $310 per hour); for so modest a product, 13.7 hours of high-paid professionals’ time are too many."

More perilous, the lawyers for Budget put in $165 as costs, which was the fee for one of its lawyers to be admitted to the bar of the appeals court, which caused Posner to add, "Budget’s mischaracterization further undermines the credibility of its submissions."

Ernie's post links to discussion among some lawyers that appeals court judges don't have a very good idea about what things cost.

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