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 are often given a proverbial haircut. Such was the case this week Chicago counsel for hedge fund/Petters-related defendant Gregory M. Bell.
“The blended hourly rate charged by counsel for Defendant Petters’ defense over the past eleven months totals $309, as compared with the blended hourly rate of $547 charged by counsel for Bell. The Court will reduce Dewey’s requested fees to an amount which conforms to local market rates.”
It might have been particularly difficult to get top Chicago rates when the Court was deciding how much to distribute from a limited and insufficient fund, over objections from S.E.C. lawyers, not only to Chicago $875 per hour defense lawyers (the top hourly rate charged) but also to a woman with two dependent children, whose husband has been imprisoned, who cannot find a job, and whose sole income is apparently $975 per month with monthly insurance premiums of $892/month.