OK, it’s a price-fixing case and the attorney’s fees were lowered by the Court (a joke’s in there screaming to be let out). I know not many will see an injustice here. I know not many will defend class action lawyer fee awards. But think this one through with me. I’ll lead . . .
Money, it’s a Gas
The firms put in a total of $14,000,000.00 worth of their attorneys’ time. They could have done other work and been paid a guaranteed fee with no real risk. But they took this case and put their time on the line. They could have lost and been paid $0.00 per hour. Could have spent a lot of time they would never get back. No guarantee of success. A real chance of loss.
The firms also pulled out their own wallets and fronted about $4,000,000.00 in costs. This is different from time spent on a case. They had already spent time to earn the $4M first. They took a chance and doubled down with their time. No guarantee of success. A real chance of loss.
Now Gimme Money, That’s What I Want
If you take a high risk, you deserve a high reward. If the reward is low, no one will take the big risks. These firms deserve a high reward for taking this high risk–with their own money at stake. Why? Even if they personally profit off their own skills, talents and commitment, the profit they gained was realized by all US consumers. You have to consider the result. They procured a significant public good the entire country will enjoy. That’s not hyperbolic. That’s a fact.
Anything, Anything–Anything For Money
Don’t get distracted by all the zeros. Or the kind praise the Judge lavished on the lawyers for a job well done. An awesome job done. A job producing tangible public benefits. The firms held a foreign company responsible for price gouging US consumers. Violating US law for a profit. The attorneys recouped ill-gotten gains for price-gouged US consumers. The private law firms have provided a reason to deter future scams for the public. The lawyers got retribution for harmed US consumers, while protecting US consumers from the potential of recurring conduct. The list can go on.
Money Makes The World Go Around
To me, this sounds like a governmental responsibility. But no. The government ain’t got no time for that! Instead, the government made a law that would limit the compensation to the attorneys. In effect, deterring attorneys from enforcing US laws against unlawful practices by foreign businesses. This seems backwards to me.
The lawyers did a good job. The Judge said nice things. Then the law was applied and took 2/3 of the pay away. Kinda like expecting $15.00 an hour if you do a real good job. No guarantee. But a chance. You do a real good job anyway. And ask. For your reward, you are paid $5 an hour instead. You won. But the risk was not worth the reward.
Next time what do you do? Take a chance anyway? Only the fools. But don’t worry. The government is here to serve and protect
foreign corporations US consumers!
The real article follows . . .
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. federal judge on Monday praised the plaintiffs’ attorneys who obtained a $153.3 million judgment against two Chinese companies in a price-fixing case over vitamin C, but still found reason to shave over $9 million off their fee request.
- Tim Cook subject to interviews about ebook price fixing, despite ‘perceived inconvenience’ (bizjournals.com)
- Business Judge Blasts Trial Lawyers (bitterqueen.typepad.com)
- First Circuit Affirms $105,000 Attorneys’ Fee Award in Age Bias Case after Jury Awards only $7,650 in Damages (schnaderworks.com)