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by Vault Law Editors | November 16, 2007

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In the wake of the latest associate salary wars (not to mention the ongoing bonus battles), some in-house counsel have voiced understandable concern [free reg required] about the impact these payouts to junior associates will have on spiraling law firm billing rates.

 

In this context, note one corporate giant’s flawed fee-slashing strategy:

 

[Judge] Bernstein devoted 10 pages of his 22-page decision, including excerpts of testimony, to dismissing the Wal-Mart witness testimony of John J. Marquess, president of Legal Cost Control Inc., a company that says it helps manage and reduce legal fees, who argued the plaintiffs' attorneys fees in the present case were unreasonable.

 

"Mr. Marquess' opinion is totally and entirely rejected on the basis that he had no pretense to knowledge of what a plaintiff's firm needs to do to prepare and try a class action jury trial to verdict and has no factual basis to evaluate the work performed in this case," Bernstein said. "His testimony is rejected as grossly lacking in necessary and readily obtainable facts. His testimony lacks all credibility, repeatedly demonstrating an unwillingness to have his statements cross-examined, by providing misleading and transparently disingenuous answers in a conscious effort to obfuscate."

 

Ouch.

- posted by vera

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