Business of Law

Video Game CEO Balks at $1M Legal Bill, But Appeals Court Says He Has to Pay

When dealing with a sexual harassment suit, an executive of a video game giant allegedly said he wanted to spend to defend rather than settle with the plaintiff for $200,000 to $400,000.

But when it came time to pay his attorney’s nearly seven-figure legal bill, Bobby Kotick of Activision Blizzard Inc. balked. Now a California appeals court has upheld a $1.4 million arbitration award to the law firm of his then-attorney, Patricia Glaser, who has the reputation of being one of the fiercest litigators in Los Angeles, reports the Company Town blog of the Los Angeles Times.

About $938,000 of the award is for the legal fees due to Christensen Glaser Fink Jacobs Weil & Shapiro in the underlying sexual harassment suit. The other $479,000 is for legal fees in the fee arbitration.

Meanwhile, Kotick and three other defendants settled the sexual harassment suit for $200,000 plus $475,000 in attorney fees, the Times reports.

Brought in Los Angeles Superior Court by Cynthia Madvig, who had worked as a flight attendant on a private jet used by Kotick, it contended that the pilot of the plane harassed her when she refused to be “arm candy” for him and that Kotick fired her after she complained of being mistreated.

A further appeal is possible, according to attorney Anthony Glassman. He represents Cove Management, a company created by Kotick and another individual defendant to operate the private jet they jointly own. The company, Glassman tells the newspaper, “believes that the billings from Christensen Glaser were excessive and inappropriate given the nature of the case.”

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