Tower, old federal courthouse
Attorneys' fees: The sky's the limit?

I don’t know which is the more important block quote of the two in this post by Pamela Chestek, the one I am about to excerpt below — which happens to be of particular interest to me because of a brief I recently filed — or the one that is probably of more general application and which constitutes the title of Pam’s blog post: “11th Circuit Affirms Email Exchange as Contract.”

Well, yeah, that was still a big question? Now it’s not. Not in the Eleventh. Even if the parties intend to formalize a big honking lawyerly contract thing, if the emails contain all the essential terms, you’ve got your contract right there. Good, good.

But this, this you have to like — from the same opinion:

At least [the losing party] Vergara can take some comfort that the amount of fees and costs was knocked down [to $578,146.99] from $1.7M, with this colorful analogy:

[“R]easonable” fee applications . . . are designed to provide adequate compensation that is reasonable to bill to one’s adversary irrespective of the skill, reputation or experience of counsel. In other words, one can drive from point A to point B in a Ferrari, a BMW, or a Ford Fusion. Which car one chooses is ordinarily a matter of personal style coupled with financial freedom. The successful personal injury or criminal defense lawyer may choose the Ferrari. The average corporate defense lawyer will wisely choose the BMW. But a successful attorney fee applicant can only choose the Ford Fusion.

Well, okay, maybe only in the Eleventh.  I think in myneighborhood successful applicants can and do drive BMW’s.

But they shouldn’t be driving Ferraris.  And especially not just to drive to the 7-11.

By Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

One thought on “Email this!”
  1. Thanks for the post! Personally, I’m most enchanted by the statement that the corporate defense lawyer will “wisely” choose a BMW. Why is that “wise”? So that the corporation won’t see a Ferrari and think it’s getting fleeced? Because the judge thinks BMWs are great cars? That was the best part. I also expected a crack about judges driving Kia’s, but the judge “wisely” avoided a reference like that.

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