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Generalized and Conclusory Objections to Fee Applications Are Not Adequate

Posted by Judie Bronsther | Jan 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

When a court reviews legal fees to determine whether they are reasonable among the factors considered is whether the hours claimed were reasonably expended. Recently, the court in Bayer Cropscience AG, et. al v.Dow Agrosciences LLC. Civil No. 12-256 (RMB/JS) United States District Court, D. Delaware. (January 5, 2015) made it clear that when challenging a fee petition, it is not enough to characterize the fees as unreasonable and excessive. Rather, the opposing party must make specific objections regarding the accuracy of the number of hours spent and the necessity for these hours. In granting almost all of Dow's request for attorney's fees ($5,761,936.79), Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider court noted, “since Bayer raises only “generalized conclusory objection” to the time claimed by Dow, the Court many not award less in fees than requested by the fee petitioner.”

In light of this ruling, a client who is opposing a fee application would be well served engaging a legal auditing firm which has extensive experience providing expert testimony on the reasonableness of legal fees so that specific objections can be made as to whether the attorneys' fees are excessive, redundant or otherwise unnecessary.

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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