Cost of doing business

What a waste.

A federal magistrate judge on Monday awarded lawyers representing the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the NCAA’s athlete-compensation limits $33.2 million in attorney’s fees and costs.

The case is on appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but if the award stands, it means the NCAA will have had to pay a total of more than $75 million to plaintiffs’ lawyers in connection with two antitrust cases that have been a major part of the college sports landscape over the past 10 years.

The NCAA and various conference co-defendants have combined to spend millions more defending the cases, although some of those costs have been offset by insurance.

Forget that this money could have been spent on player compensation.  How about spending it to increase scholarships in programs like baseball?  Assholes.

31 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

31 responses to “Cost of doing business

  1. $33.2 million in attorney’s fees and costs.
    And you talk about the NCAA being excessive?
    This is beyond absurd.

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    • Do you have any idea how much time it takes to litigate complex antitrust suits?

      That was a rhetorical question. Obviously, you don’t.

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      • Russ

        Not the point of this blog (and I’m not trying to be confrontational, I’m sincerely interested), but can you point me to a rundown of where the time goes/is billed in a large case like this? I’d imagine someone has taken a stab at explaining it somewhere on the internet.

        Thanks Senator.

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        • You can probably Google O’Bannon fees and find some articles breaking it down.

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        • Dawgphan

          My guess is that there were several lawyers working on this case and worked on it for nearly 10 years.

          But 6 lawyers for 500 hours each for 10 years is 30mm if each lawyer charges $1000/hr.

          Given the complex nature of this case the amount doesn’t sound outrageous.

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          • Tony Barnfart

            As a lawyer, i can say with confidence that no lawyer is worth $1000/hr.

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          • Tony Barnfart

            Not to say some fancy ones don’t charge that. Just that it’s an absolutely absurd notion.

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            • If that $1000 a hour lawyer can keep me out of jail, my business from running afoul of the law, or my family from losing its financial assets, I’ll gladly pay for that expertise if I can afford it. Of course, all of that assumes I’m doing or trying to do the right thing legally.

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            • Gaskilldawg

              There are a couple of factors for your consideration. First, no one hires these guys for routine litigation, such as suits on promissory notes or middle class divorces. I don’t say that in any way a slur on lawyers who do those cases. Hell, it is the beans and rice of my law practice fo4 decades.

              They get the cases that have billions of dollars at stake. The Alston case could affect how billions of dollars are allocated over the years. Both sides want to hire lawyers with proven track records in the narrow field the case presents. That is a shallow pool of talent. No one wants to tell his boss after a losing result that he or she hired an outside counsel because that losing counsel was cheaper.
              Those few lawyers in demand have lots of potential clients wanting to hire them and the lawyer does not have time to serve them all. If a bunch are willing to bid $1,000 per hour to win the “hire Kessler competition “ then why would he only charge $400 per hour?

              Another factor is financing the litigation and risk of loss. The plaintiffs have been working what, 10 years, without receiving payment along the way. The lawyers have to allocate thousand of hours of paralegal time which they have to fund monthly without a fee for Alston case coming in. The lawyers are devoting thousands of hours of their time without bringing in current dollars to pay their mortgages or kid’s expenses. The risk is getting a goose egg for 10 years of work whil3 those paralegals won’t return their pay collected over the years.
              Those factors push hourly fees upwards in antitrust cases.

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    • Don’t act like a price-fixing cartel in America and you won’t have to pay those attorney’s fees.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gaskilldawg

        Absolutely. Let’s put the blame on the wrongdoers who brought it on themselves.
        The bank robber serving prison time blames the bank for calling the police. Let’s not rally around the entity that broke antitrust laws.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Then don’t hire top antitrust lawyers when you want to bring an antitrust case, There are some young lawyers in my community who would take it for $200 per hour.
      When you lose and a competitor puts you out of business you can at least console yourself that you didn’t hire one of those lawyers who charges absurd rates.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      The award was for the team of lawyers for 10 years of services. Let’s divide that $33.2 mill over 10 years it is $3,32 million a year. Let’s figure 10 lawyers working on the complex litigation. That is $332,000 per year allocated over each lawyer. Let’s figure the lawyers average 750 hours per year on the Alston case (that is 14 and a half hours per week average) and the award amounts to a little under $450 per hour per lawyer for top flight big city legal talent.
      I am in a small city and I get $300 per hour for representing regular folks with regular folks’s problems. If you hire me and 9 others just like me at our $300 per hour rate for highly complex litigation in which the outcome for you is economic life or death after 10 years our collective fee would be $22,500,000.

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  2. Classic City Canine

    Baseball gets screwed on scholarships. The sooner the price fixing is stopped, the better.

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  3. Gaskilldawg

    The NCAA’s lawyers weren’t working for free, either. Figure the NCAA paid something similar to its lawyers, plus the loss of productivity by in house staff diverted from their usual jobs. Add to that NCAA pay I consider excessive and The total sucked away from supporting the actual amateur athletics teams could be as high as a fifth of a billion dollars.using your example of baseball scholarships the NCAA could distribute more to the schools to fund more scholarships but protecting the money paid to the folks who wear suits is a higher priority.

    Add to

    Liked by 1 person

  4. duronimo

    I can’t document your opinion of lawyers but I can document mine. My direct experience (I’m 76 years old) makes be believe that they are the most corrupt group in this country. That’s why they gravitate into politics. Using the levers of power, they have created the matrix we live in …. one that requires their services at every turn. Jesus didn’t like them and neither do I. (lol)

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  5. Tony Barnfart

    Wow there are a lot of lawyers on this blog. For anybody that hires any of these assholes… don’t pay for: (1) anything block billed with multiple tasks lumped into a single time entry, particularly one over 2.0hrs — make them break that shit out (2) any rate over $300 when the task says “researched”

    Send me your bill and we’ll hack off 25% going through it line by line.

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