Judge Slashes Fees Using Contingency Standard
Posted Sep 14, 2007 8:21 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal judge has rejected an attorney’s fee request that would have consumed nearly two-thirds of a $100,000 settlement for a man wrongly accused in a drug case.
Judge David Hurd of Utica, N.Y., slashed fees from $63,000 to $29,000, the New York Law Journal reports. The lawyer and his firm, Kevin A. Luibrand of Tobin & Dempf, had represented the client on drug charges that were eventually dismissed and in the civil rights case against police and the city of Amsterdam, N.Y.
Luibrand told the legal publication he was hired on retainer rather than contingency. He said he has never seen a case where a judge disregarded an hourly fee agreement and imposed fees based on a contingency standard.
He said his firm's hourly billings were consistent with rates recognized in Hurd’s district of $210 an hour for partners and $150 for associates. He plans an appeal.