Friday, January 19, 2007

A 100 Million Dollar Legal Bill?

We all know that legal costs are rising, but this takes the cake. Former NYSE Chairman Dick Grasso says that his legal billing fighting Spitzer's old office have exceeded $100 million.

WHAT? I like Dick Grasso and support his defense of the Spitzer case, and have done so many times in this blog, but has he lost it? How in the world could the legal bill be one hundred million dollars?

The article says that there were 62 depositions. 62 depositions is a lot, but fine. A day for the dep, a day to prepare, 124 days of work. He is using a big law firm, so we can assume that there is a partner and an associate at each deposition, and another associate in the office . That is about $1,500 an hour.

The fees could not possibly be any higher than this, and that works out to "only" $1.5 million. Where the heck is the other 99 million dollars?

The man has to be wrong. No one could possibly charge $100 million dollars in this litigation, and no one would - the amount at stake is $189 million.

But if its true, will someone please tell Mr. Grasso that experienced securities litigators at small firms are not charging $1,500 an hour? Could someone please tell him that small firms, would handle 62 days of deposition for less than $50,000? And probably handle the entire case, through trial for less than 1% of that hundred million.
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