I am systematically digging through last week’s filings. I’ll start by giving a quick rundown of the motion for attorneys fees. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given how big this case has become, the counsel for the author sub-class are asking for the full $30 million in fees and reimbursement of their out-of-pocket costs.
As set out in their memorandum of law in support, you can get to that number in one of two ways. First, there’s the “lodestar” method: calculate how much you’d have billed if you’d been working for a normal, paying client, then multiply by some figure to reflect the uncertain chances of recovery. Under that method, they’ve invested a little over $10 million in billable time, so they’re asking for a multiplier a little under 3. Here are some salient details about how the $10 million figure was calculated:
Boni declaration in support of the motion for attorneys fees, ex. C: Michael Boni and Joanne Zack bill at $675 an hour. Boni has spent 4997.5 hours on the case; Zack has spent 3326 hours. Boni & Zack LLC as a whole has spent 9778.75 hours.
Id., ex. D: Boni & Zack has incurred $151,700.37 in out-of-pocket expenses on the case. That includes $86,511.16 on expert witnesses and consultants, and $44,742.66 on travel-related expenses.
Id., ex. F (declaration of Sanford Dumain), p.5: Milberg LLP put 4,519 hours into the case, spread out among more attorneys. One partner, two associates, and five contract attorneys worked more than a hundred hours on the case. NYU professor (and head of Milberg’s appellate practice) Arthur Miller logged 18 hours and claims a rate of $995 an hour.
Id., ex. G (declaration of Robert LaRocca), p. 6: While at Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C., Boni worked another 1342.70 hours on the case, out of a total of 4718.80 hours of firm time.
The other method of calculation is to look at benefits to class members. Out of the $109.5 million Google is to pay (not counting the separate attorney fees for the publishers’ counsel), $30 million is about 27 percent.