Monday, March 27, 2006

File This One Under Outrageous

767dl_2_1 The Associated Press reports on the legal fees that Northwest and Delta Airlines attorneys are seeking as they take the carriers through the bankruptcy process:

As Delta and Northwest press employees to take deep pay and benefit cuts, their lawyers and consultants are asking bankruptcy court judges to approve $59 million in fees and expenses for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 months of work.

Northwestairlines_a320212_n353nw_786_474_1  Complicated bankruptcy cases commonly generate big fees for lawyers - so it might not be surprising that, by the time the two airlines exit Chapter 11, the tab could be $276 million or more. But such bills also routinely draw criticism from employees, creditors and other parties - and with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. and Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest Airlines Corp. asking employees for wage concessions, legal fees are indeed an issue.

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For instance, one law firm billed Northwest $130 for long-distance faxes, at $1.25 per page. It charged 10 cents for each photocopy, adding up to $17,309. It billed more than $183,000 for online research.

Billing records show 59 lawyers from Bruce Zirinsky's law firm alone working on the Northwest case. Zirinsky himself so far has logged 706.8 hours at $800 an hour. That added up to $565,440 in 3 1/2 months. Zirinsky did not return a phone call seeking comment on the fees

Disbelief and outrage here. Anyone else? Those of you who think that this type of billing practice is justified, please help me understand.

PS

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2006/03/file_this_one_u.html

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