Thursday, October 02, 2008

News of the Weird

Latest from the Class-Action Lawyers' Money Tree:

(1) The six lawyers who helped 83 Wal-Mart workers win about $2,500 each (for being improperly denied overtime pay) asked the Portland, Ore., judge in December for fees totaling $2.57 million, about 12 times the clients' total winnings (citing the difficult work, Wal-Mart's contentiousness, and the case's implications beyond their 83 clients).

(2) And when phone company customers won $25 refunds in a September class-action settlement with Ameritech in Madison County, Ill., lawyers got $1.9 million in legal fees; a local watchdog group said (based on experience) only about 10 percent of eligible customers would bother to apply for refunds, meaning that lawyers' fees would ultimately account for about 60 percent of the amount Ameritech pays out.