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Lexmark Settled With Oklahoma Firefighters Whose Lawyers Want $1300 an Hour in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 7 –  Lexmark was alleged to have inflated its stock with claims about its laser printers. It was the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System that sued.   And now as they settle, their lawyers want $1300 an hour, see below.

On June 11, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge William H. Pauley III held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.

  The case waas moving toward final settlement.

 At first Judge Pauley suggested the next proceeding for December 2, but a lawyer pushed back.

Now on January 7, settlement approved but too-high attorneys fees dug into: "The Proposed Settlement resolves the entire litigation for a cash payment of $12 8 million. (ECF No. 122.) No objections have been lodged. (ECF No. 147.) In addition, Lead 9 Counsel seeks attorneys’ fees in the amount of 25% of the settlement fund ($3 million), plus 10 $201,357.78 in litigation expenses  First, the allocation of 14 time is heavily weighted toward partners. Of the 32 attorneys who billed, 16 were partners. 15 (Robbins Decl., Ex. A; Fox Decl., Ex. A.) Those 16 partners accounted for nearly 47% of the 16 hours billed by Lead Counsel. (Robbins Decl., Ex. A; Fox Decl., Ex. A.) Moreover, the hourly 17 rates for some partners were higher than any hourly rates this Court has previously seen. 18 Specifically, 5 of the 16 partners who billed had hourly rates exceeding $1,000, and the rate for 19 two of them exceeded $1,300 per hour. (Robbins Decl., Ex. A; Fox Decl., Ex. A.) Lead Counsel 20 asserts that the more expensive partners were used primarily in an advisory role, but this explanation is insufficient. 1 21 (Tr. of Fairness Hearing, ECF No. 156, at 8–9.) Further, the hourly  1 It is generally helpful for counsel to submit contemporaneous, detailed time records as part of their initial motion for attorneys’ fees. See William B. Rubenstein, 5 Newberg on Class Actions § 15:6 (5th ed. 2020). A court should not have to request billing records...Applying the Goldberger factors and recognizing that a modest adjustment is 17 appropriate, this Court awards a total attorneys’ fee of $2,880,000, which represents 24% of the 18 Settlement Fund. These attorneys’ fees may be disbursed from the CRIS account once 75% of the net settlement fund2 19 has been distributed. See Bank of Am., 318 F.R.D. at 28; Beane v. Bank 20 of N.Y. Mellon, 2009 WL 874046, at *9 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2009)."

The case is Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System v. Lexmark International, Inc. et al., 17-cv-5543 (Pauley).


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