M & A Law Prof Blog

Editor: Brian JM Quinn
Boston College Law School

Monday, November 5, 2012

Windfalls and attorney fees

Chancellor Strine weighs in on "windfall" fees in this week's ABA Journal:

Well, what’s a windfall?” Strine asks. “A windfall is: Someone else bought a [winning] Powerball ticket, and the wind blew it and it fell in someone’s lap.”

A windfall, the judge says, is when companies settle nuisance suits that yield a lot of money to shareholder lawyers and “bubkes, zero, nada, nothing” for their clients. Strine tells Jenkins that he and other defense lawyers “have shaped a world of windfalls.”

“I just actually think there are a lot of actual people who would say, ‘If my lawyer hits a grand slam for me, I’m OK with him getting one or two of the runs,’ ’’ he says.

This is, obviously, a continuation of a previous discussion about how to manage the problem of the proliferation of transaction-related litigation.  Strine is staying in his lane, as it were.  Bad cases will get little.  Good cases will get generous fees, without his feeling any guilt about the size.  But, there is only so much one state court can do on their own.  

As an aside, the artwork for this article paints Strine in shades of green - literally.  Not very flattering.  




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