UPDATE: Fee request was rejected on November 25, 2013.
Real rejected Baker’s motion. He also granted $4,000 in incentive awards to each of the five representative plaintiffs.
Thanks to “Joe” for drawing attention to the settlement’s preliminary approval on Monday (August 19th), but now there’s a battle over attorney fees. The absurdity of some of this is rather striking.
In one settlement, for $9.5 million, attorney George Richard Baker, who represents six objectors, seeks $578,750 in fees for his “remarkably vital role” in raising red flags over an earlier deal that involved coupons; the coupons were later were replaced with cash.
The article goes on to point out the following:
Harris & Ruble, in an August 5 objection, claim Baker’s clients were not responsible for the revised deal. He added that Baker’s firm worked fewer than 70 hours on the case and his clients, whose concerns about the coupons mirrored that of more than 200 other objectors, lack standing to object since they hadn’t submitted claims by the July 8 deadline.
Can’t argue with Harris & Ruble’s logic. Baker wants over $500k for representing six objectors or 2.88% of the objections that we made collectively. Not sure how much of a “remarkably vital role” he played as it seems highly likely the settlement would have been rejected without his contribution. There’s also that whole standing issue…
See this National Law Journal article for the whole scoop. Hopefully there will be final resolution and reward distribution in the not too distant future, preferably without undue dilution by these additional attorney fees.