I saw this and it reminded me of a recent conversation I had. I was having dinner with several judges and was complaining about what I felt have been some rather meager fee awards in consumer protection action cases. (Note: I had no pending cases before these judges on any attorneys’ fee issue and I do not have a regular TCPA practice.) I expressed the opinion that it was always relevant for a trial judge seeking to determine a reasonable fee for a prevailing plaintiff in a TCPA to have the defendant’s counsel produce his or her bills for an in camera review.
It just seems to me that a good starting point for determining what the prevailing party’s attorney should be paid is what the losing party paid his or her attorney to lose. Surely the winner should receive no less than the loser and, indeed, should probably be paid more, particularly if they accepted the case on a contingent fee basis.
Of course, their are many other relevant factors (the timing and substance of settlement proposals, etc.), but why not order production of that data?
The state court judge in the Vioxx case wants it, and she should get it.
Thanks to the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog.