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Facebook’s Attorney Fee Request Reduced by 77%

Posted by Judie Bronsther | Feb 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

On February 19, 2015, Judge Alsup ruled in Facebook vs. Grunin (United States District Court, Northern District of California, No. C 14-02323 WHA) that Facebook's fee request of $325,129 should be reduced to $75,000. Judge Alsup considered an outright denial of all fees and expenses due to an inadequately supported demand for fees made pursuant to California Penal Code Section 502 (e)(1) and Section 1030 (a) (4), but instead awarded $75,000, an amount which he thought accounted for counsel's inefficiency, overstaffing and inadequate documentation.

Counsel did not submit timesheets, invoices or details specifically identifying the amount of time incurred on each specific task. Instead, counsel submitted a two on-page summary exhibit breaking down the amount spent on each phase of the litigation and each motion and stating that one partner, three associates and a paralegal worked on the matter

This ruling should serve as a word of caution to all those attorneys seeking fees…incorporate detailed contemporaneous time journals with your motion for attorney's fees or your fees may be denied in the entirety or drastically reduced.

About the Author

Judie Bronsther

Ms. Bronsther began her career in 1979 as an associate with Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Manley & Underberg specializing in corporate finance. In 1984, she joined forces with a client, Empire Securities, a brokerage house specializing in oil and gas transactions, and became Executive Vice President and General Counsel. In 1989, she joined Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hayes and Handler. Ms. Bronsther graduated from University of Rochester, magna cum laude, and New York University School of Law. Ms. Bronsther has written extensively on the subject of legal cost control and lectures frequently on this subject.

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