Tuesday, March 25, 2008

SJK's Lawyers Awarded $2.5 Million

So now Stacy Johnson-Klein's lawyers have been awarded $2.5 million. There are some very interesting parts in the article in the Fresno Bee such as,

In a four-page ruling, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Donald S. Black said Johnson-Klein lawyers Warren Paboojian, Dan Siegel and Jason Bell should be paid a total of about $1.25 million. Black then doubled the amount, as permitted by law in cases that are particularly time-consuming and complicated.

I thought that fees were negotiated when contracts were signed with the client. Why is this under the judges per view? Judge Black said something about the money the lawyers would have lost out of pocket if Johnson-Klein would have lost the case. Isn't that a risk that lawyers take when choosing cases? Do they deserve to be rewarded based on their financial risk? What about:
Black paid particular attention to the importance that the law attaches to the concept of public value in justifying a multiplier. He said the law frowns on a multiplier for cases that lack such value.

Something else that I find odd is that Judge Black awarded them this but it still seems to be based on Stacey Johnson-Klein getting an award. But is the lawyer's compensation no longer a factor of her reward? Is this in addition to their "cut" of her award? I am puzzled and am going to attempt to find answers somewhere.

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