Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, April 5, 2013

Court Orders Ray Charles Foundation To Pay Attorney's Fees of His Children

Estate DisputeAs I have previously discussed, the children of Ray Charles partially won their case against their father's foundation but lost on the one claim that would have allowed them to terminate the copyright ownership of the music publishers that owned their father's songs. The court reasonsed that because the children failed to file the termination notice before their father's estate closed they could not be brought as claims.

Recently, in Ray Charles Foundation v. Raenee Robinson et. al., the United States District Court out of the Central District of California ordered the Ray Charles Foundation to pay for the attorney's fees of the children. In total, the Foundation is expected to have to pay about $89,000. The court rejected the foundation's claims that the fees were unreasonable. Judge Audrey Collins noted that with the high-profile nature of the case and the fact that the case involved several issues of first impressions, the number of hours that were spent researching the issues were reasonable. The foundation made one objection to award because the attorneys keeping the hours failed to keep the hours contemporaneously. The court denied the objection on the grounds that the attorneys who took the record were trustworthy and establish the reasonableness of the hours.

See Maria Dinzeo, Foundation Penalized For Suing Ray Charles' Kids, Courthouse News, Apr. 2, 2013.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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