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Legal Ethics

Lead Attorney in Microsoft Case Hogged Lion’s Share of $75M Legal Fee, Suit Says

Posted Jul 6, 2010 5:09 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A lead lawyer in a $179.5 million class action antitrust settlement with Microsoft Corp. shared the $75 million legal fee with attorney Richard Hagstrom and the Minneapolis-based Zelle Hoffmann law firm, the Associated Press reports.

But Roxanne Conlin of Des Moines, Iowa, didn't honor an agreement to pay 20 percent of the legal fee from the 2007 settlement to lawyers in more than 20 other states who helped with the litigation, contends an Iowa lawsuit filed last month in Polk County District Court by the Microsoft Litigation Consortium.

Filed by attorney Thomas Hanson of Des Moines, the suit seeks court-ordered arbitration to determine the proper amount that the consortium and its lawyers should receive in legal fees.

Conlin and her lawyer didn't immediately respond to requests for comment today, the AP article says.

However, in an earlier article in the Des Moines Register about the lawsuit Conlinwho is now the local Democratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat--says the litigation is politically motivated.

"Lawyers from out of state are trying to take advantage of me and the fact that I am in the middle of a campaign," she tells the newspaper. "This lawsuit is without merit" and "comes more than three years after the case was settled."

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "$75 Million Attorney Fee an Iowa Record?"

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