Monday, November 30, 2009

Attorney Fees Reduced

I thought you would be interested in reading Todd Lightly's article published by the Chicago Tribune regarding the reduction in legal fees paid as a result of the current oversupply of lawyers.  Here is the article:

"William Shakespeare famously suggested in "Henry VI, Part II" that, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

Well, maybe not so fast.

The recession has led to a glut of unemployed and underemployed lawyers, and that could benefit city taxpayers.

Mayor Richard Daley's top lawyer, Mara Georges, told aldermen during a budget hearing that she tries to keep in-house as many legal cases as she can. But Georges added that she often has to hire private lawyers to handle cases, many of them involving complex legal matters in federal court.

Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, was concerned about the cost to taxpayers. He asked Georges if she has been able to take advantage of the abundance of lawyers looking for work during the current economic crisis.

"We've been capitalizing on that opportunity," Georges said.

For example, she said, the city's maximum hourly rate for the most difficult cases is normally $295. She said the city has been able to get that reduced to $250 per hour.

The city so far this year has paid $14 million in fees to private lawyers but did not offer figures for how much was saved.

A couple of aldermen told Georges not to get too cheap with legal fees, with one cautioning, "You get what you pay for."  "
Warmest Regards,

Bob Schaller

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