Recently, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington attacked the attorney’s fees and expenses filed by plaintiff’s attorneys in a securities fraud suit. 

The judge was not pleased that the attorneys had submitted a six figure bill with expenses and disbursements that it considered excessive.  In particular, the court sited a meal where two attorneys had purchased 2 – $72 bottles of wine and included a $60 tip.  The court thought that this bill was outrageous.  Similarly, the court believed that hotel and airfare expenses were incredibly excessive for this type of securities claim.  The court reduced the fee award by nearly 70%.

This case truly points out to lawyers that, when submitting fee requests to the court, courts are more reluctant to award large fees.