Update (September 23, 2016): Mysteriously, plaintiff Minnesota Vikings Football Stadium (“MVFS”), having won its lawsuit against Wells Fargo, and the corresponding rights to an injunction and to its attorneys’ fees (claimed to be $655,020.00), has confidentially settled the matter with its erstwhile opponent. And, as part of that settlement, MVFS has withdrawn its claim to its attorneys’ fees. So we will never see Wells Fargo’s response to MVFS’ fee claim nor the Court’s evaluation of it.
Incidentally, I often commute past the usbankstadium (sic) (see photo to the left). The branding of U.S. Bank on the stadium and Wells Fargo immediately across the street are both extremely visible. The >$1 million in combined legal fees were spent on a fight about Wells Fargo’s signage on the roofs of its buildings (only visible from the blimp camera that hovers over football stadiums on game days). How is it possible, in a world in which so many people live in dire circumstances, that corporations can fritter away so much for so little?
Original post (July 11, 2016): For a battle that took place over a period of six months (late December, 2015 to late June, 2016) about whether or not Wells Fargo could have certain signage near the new Vikings football stadium, the Minnesota Vikings seek $655,020.00 for their attorney’s fees, plus $17,068.21 in costs. Does that sound reasonable to you? Who is to say? How would you know? How would I? How would the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota?
That was 2,237 hours of lawyer time, apparently, divided up unequally between six Hinshaw & Culbertson lawyers (senior associate Jessica Magnuson, H&C “capital partner,” Kevin Coan, and newly minted junior associate M. Annie Santos putting in about 2,000 of the 2,237 hours).
It will be interesting to see Wells Fargo’s response. I will go out on a limb and predict that it will NOT include any indication of Wells Fargo’s own lawyers’ hours or billing rates. (If one side argues that the other side’s fees are excessive, wouldn’t it be a relevant metric to divulge how much your side’s fees were? I don’t see that very often (if ever) in responses to fee petitions.) I will go out on a thicker limb and also predict that Wells Fargo will not respond by saying, “Looks good to us! They beat us fair and square and, although we respectfully disagree with the outcome, this lean and mean adversary earned every penny claimed!”
And, finally, I won’t hazard a prediction of whether we will have another example of the proverbial “Minnesota hair-cut” (examples here, here, here, and here). Anyone want to hazard a guess as to how this will play out?
Not me. But while on the subject, I will take the opportunity to raise some questions for general reflection: