As nearly all civil litigators across the country know by the end of their first year of law school if not before, “the American rule” means that in most cases litigants/clients pay their own lawyers/litigators, whether they win or lose. The so-called “British rule,” also called, “loser pays,” is thought to to “operate[] as a greater […]

If you are among the many Minnesota lawyers who still believe that referral fees are forbidden, it’s time to wake up! Referral fees are alive and well in Minnesota, and permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct to boot.

Back in July, we reported on an unfortunate gamble (in retrospect) of a plaintiff who had the choice between a jury verdict reduced by the judge or a new trial. He went for a new trial and he got “zeroed,” a jury verdict of $0.00.  But the Court awarded plaintiff $1.00, giving him a chance […]

It seems to me that an unwritten rule of U.S. civil litigation is that courts, in a large number of cases in which the award of attorneys’ fees is a possibility, prefer not to award them (and it is common, also, for courts to give fee claims a “haircut.” See, e.g., here.) Redman v. Sinex, […]

Many have scratched their heads and wondered (and asked their lawyer friends) how convicted billion-dollar ponzi schemer Tom Petters’ lawyers are getting paid. Today’s Order, below, from the U.S. District Court (D. Minn.) answers the question. Petters Legal Fees Order

In a Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) case covered previously on this blog, the lender lost on a TILA rescission claim before the 8th Circuit (which had reversed the District Court (D. Minn.)). Pursuant to the Eighth Circuit’s mandate, late last week, the lender/plaintiff, Rand, was ordered to pay defendants attorney’s fees (Amber Hawkins, John Tancabel) in the amount […]

I suspect that few Minnesota clients celebrate Minnesota legal rates as a real bargain but those who have worked with lawyers out of New York, Chicago, D.C., L.A., etc., know, at least, that things could be considerably worse. And lawyers from out-of-state who come to Minnesota and ask for court approval of their higher rates […]

Judge James M. Rosenbaum is known to occasionally wield the pen as a sword (or, in Minnesotan spirit and consistent with his metaphor of attorneys as remoras, as a fish gutting knife?). Judge Rosenbaum’s recent response to a request for attorneys’ fees in the UHG class action litigation cut deeply. He denied the request for […]

It is common if not universal for loan documents to provide for attorneys’ fees for costs of enforcement in the event of default but also somewhat common for courts to be reluctant to award fees — often finding some way to deny requests or discount them substantially, for example. Judge Donovan Frank, however, in this […]

In a variant of the classic game show, Let’s Make a Deal, after a jury returned a $100,000 verdict for plaintiff, Judge Ericksen gave plaintiff the choice between a reduced verdict (“remittitur”) of $50,000 or another jury trial on the issue of damages. Plaintiff opted for “Jury #2” and the jury came back with damages […]