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■ Volume 27

SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 ■ $8.50

Number 38 www.molawyersmedia.com

Expertly focused. Widely acclaimed. 2013 General Excellence state and national winner

Bosley accused of misusing client money The former mayor of St. Louis has admitted to OCDC allegations. PAGE 3

CHOPPED

Fee requests slashed in three federal cases over overbilling By Heather Cole

heather.cole@molawyersmedia.com

P

laintiffs’ attorneys seeking fees found a skeptical audience this month in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. In three separate cases — two class actions and a breach of contract case — three judges weighed how much plaintiffs deserved in attorn MORE neys’ fees and decided INSIDE it wasn’t nearly as much • Though the as the lawyers thought. fee award in They slashed fee rethe city of quests by 46 percent Manchester to 89 percent. And the overtime case judges in the two class was cut by 46 actions each went into percent, the 18 pages of often unamount still flattering detail on the nearly quareasons for their decidrupled how sions. much the city U.S. District Judge was ordered to pay in the Audrey Fleissig cited lawsuit. “needless involvement by multiple law firms” Page 6 and “excessively high rates” in critiquing the lead plaintiff attorneys’ request in a lawsuit against St. Louis public transit agency Metro over credit card receipts. In an overtime case against the city of Manchester, Chief Magistrate Judge Thomas Mummert III gave a bythe-minute breakdown of some charges and cut out time over the “minimal” amount needed for reviewing emails, entries of appearance, and single-sentence and -paragraph documents. The fees in the breach of contract case between an executive and his former employer turned on different issues but resulted in the biggest cut of 89 percent. U.S. Senior District Judge Jean Hamilton spent most of her ink on whether the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees should be covered by the

Missouri Bar passes $75 dues increase By Donna Walter

donna.walter@molawyersmedia.com

Deep cuts

How much judges reduced attorneys’ fees in three cases

Franke v. Greene breach of contract Fees requested

$259,620 Fees awarded

$27,886 Percent difference

SOURCES: Court orders

-89%

Metro credit card receipts case

City of Manchester overtime case

Fees requested

Fees requested

Fees awarded

Fees awarded

$408,756 $176,572

Percent difference

-57%

$186,440

The Missouri Bar Board of Governors voted Wednesday to raise bar dues by $75. The recommendation now goes to the Missouri Supreme Court for a final decision. The board passed the dues increase without discussion and without any “no” votes during the Missouri Bar/Missouri Judicial Conference Annual Meeting in Columbia. Farrah Fite, the bar’s spokeswoman, said the Supreme Court will make a decision by Nov. 1. The increase, if the court approves it, will take effect in January. Even with the increase, dues are relatively low for Missouri lawyers, said Lisa Herder, an attorney and director of business development at Midwest Litigation Services. “Being a lawyer in Missouri is probably more economical than in some of the other areas in the country,” she said. The increase will bring the yearly total for most lawyers to $380. Most instate lawyers currently pay $184 a year for bar operating dues, plus $101 to fund the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel and $20 for the state’s Legal Services op[ SE E D U E S O N PAG E 13]

n MORE FROM THE BAR CONFERENCE

$99,272

Percent difference

-46%

• The Missouri Bar hands out more than a dozen awards. Page 2 • Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary R. Russell recently went “undercover” to see how citizens experience the state’s judicial system. Page 12 • The bar elects new officers, including P. John Brady as president. Page 13

[SE E CHOP P ED O N P AGE 1 5 ]

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V&S

Making news

An ankle fracture leads to a $2.75 million settlement in Buchanan County.

Fired St. Louis TV anchor Larry Conners challenges his non-compete clause in court.

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Hundreds of new lawyers More law school graduates took the bar exam this year. See who passed. n Page 16-17


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