SBD/August 25, 2014/Colleges

Lawyers For O'Bannon Plaintiffs Seeking $52.4M In Attorneys' Fees, Recoverable Costs

Lawyers for the Ed O'Bannon plaintiffs are seeking $52.4M in "attorneys' fees and recoverable costs from the NCAA due to their recent victory in the five-year-old case," according to Jon Solomon of CBSSPORTS.com. The O'Bannon plaintiffs "filed the motion late Friday night as the appeals process gets set in the case." The plaintiffs, led by Michael Hausfeld's law firm Hausfeld LLP, "are seeking attorneys' fees of $46,856,319 and recoverable costs of $5,555,739." The attorneys said that Hausfeld LLP "supervised and coordinated the work of 43 law firms." The hourly rates cited by the O'Bannon lawyers "range from $985 for partners with more than 40 years of experience to $250 for the most junior associate." Hausfeld "claimed his law firm has spent 29,874 hours working on the case" since '09, and also "claimed nearly 3,100 billable hours at a rate of $969 per hour" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/23). USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz noted all of this is "subject to approval" by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken, who oversaw the O'Bannon case. In documents filed last week the NCAA "indicated it had been conferring with the plaintiffs' lawyers concerning fees and costs and it had wanted more information about billing methods and assignment of certain fees to the settlements" (USATODAY.com, 8/23).

NOT WHAT IT SEEMS? CBSSPORTS.com's Solomon reported former San Diego State football player Anthony Nichols "formally objected Friday" to the NCAA's $70M concussion settlement, with his lawyer telling a judge the deal is "a mess of a settlement." Chicago-based attorney Jay Edelson "filed a 28-page objection in the Northern District of Illinois, arguing the settlement doesn't cover medical costs for former college athletes as the suit originally intended" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/22).
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