Bill Shaikin has a rundown of all of the Dodgers’ legal expenses in the five weeks or so they’ve been in bankruptcy. It’s fairly mind-boggling.
Just one of the firms handing the Dodgers’ bankruptcy — Dewey and LeBoeuf — has thrown 29 lawyers, seven paralegals and ten support staffers at the matter and, in five weeks, have billed $1.7 million. Billable rates for the lawyers range from $385 an hour for the pissant associates to $1000 an hour for the big bad partners. That’s about 80% of the total legal bill the Dodgers have incurred. Another firm is working on the matter too.
With the caveat that (a) I don’t know anything about how the internal dynamics of a bankruptcy case really works; and (b) my experience in moderate-sized Midwestern law firms doesn’t exactly give me insight into what big coastal law firm billing is really all about — that does seem nutso to me. I mean, sure, this is complicated, but it’s not Enron or something. It’s a business that, until very recently, was a mom and pop operation.