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Gavel and Money

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Setting Up a Successful Negotiation Regarding “2860 Rates”

By Erica Villanueva “The insurer’s obligation to pay fees to the independent counsel selected by the insured is limited to the rates which are actually paid by the insurer to attorneys retained by it in the ordinary course of business in the defense of similar actions in the community...

Sierra Club Ordered to Pay $6.4M in Attorneys Fees For Filing Frivolous CAA Lawsuit

By Steven M. Siros On September 2, 2014, a United States District Court for the Western District of Texas ordered that the Sierra Club reimburse Energy Future Holdings Corporation and Luminant Generation Company $6.4 million in attorneys fees for filing what the court described as a "frivolous"...

DOS Final Rule: Visa Fee Change

"The Department of State amends the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services (Schedule) for visa fees. More specifically, the rule amends the Border Crossing Card fee paid by a Mexican citizen under age 15 whose parent or guardian has applied or is applying for a border crossing card (the ‘‘reduced...

Court Provides A Clinic In Sometimes Overlooked Coverage Issue

When an insurance company is evaluating whether to file a declaratory judgment action or defend one filed against it, the principal issues under consideration are likely to be its chance of success and the amount of attorney’s fees that it will incur to achieve the desired result. But there is...

Seventh Circuit Chides Plaintiffs’ Lawyers for Selling Out Class Members, Shedding “Crocodile Tears” in Class Action Settlement

In most settlement negotiations, it is taken for granted that the parties’ self-interest will lead them to advocate aggressively for their positions and against their opponents. After all, every dollar that the plaintiff obtains is one more dollar that the defendant must give up. But in settlement...

CA Court of Appeals Confirms that Insured Need Not Accept 2860 Rate Caps For Work Done After Tender, But Before Insurer Accepts Defense

By Erica Villanueva A recent unpublished decision from California’s Second Appellate Division highlights one of the most common mistakes lawyers make when obtaining insurance coverage for the defense of a lawsuit: accepting the insurer’s ultra-low hourly rate caps for charges incurred...

New York Court Says N-O To Reimbursement Of Defense Costs: Most Extensive N.Y. Case To Address The Issue

I’ve been saying for years that reimbursement of defense costs can be an overrated issue. It is the CATS of coverage issues. First, many states – especially lately -- have rejected an insurer’s right to seek reimbursement of defense costs. Second, even in a state where the right exists...

Insurer Failure to Pay Defense Costs Excused by Insured Failure to Prove-Up Fees

By Jill Berkeley , Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP In Country Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hilltop View, LLC , 2014 IL App (4th) 140007, the appellate court, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], reversed the trial court’s order of contempt against the insurer, arising from...

CWCI/WCIRB Study Confirms Post-Reform Reductions in ASC Facility Fees

Average facility fees paid to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) for treatment of injured workers in California have declined 27% per episode and 29% per procedure since fee schedule changes mandated by SB 863 were adopted in 2013 according to updated data from a joint study by the California Workers’...

North Carolina Mechanic’s Lien Rights: The Short Summary©

By Neil Lowenstein , Attorney, Vandeventer Black LLP [1] Generally speaking, the North Carolina code structure gives two types of liens: 1) a claim of lien on real property; and 2) a claim of lien on funds. Attorney’s fees can also be discretionarily awarded by the court to the prevailing party...

Encore: The Springsteen-Quoting Coverage Case Judge Strikes Again

In the last issue of Coverage Opinions I wrote about a recent opinion , from Judge Jonathan Goodman, of the Southern District of Florida, quoting lyrics from Bruce Springsteen’s song, “No Surrender,” to make the point that, while not giving up may be a virtue when pursuing one’s...

$1.85 Million Verdict Upheld Against Demoulas In-Law In Back Bay Condo Squeeze Out

By Rich Vetstein One of Largest Verdicts In A Condominium Dispute In a David vs. Goliath case pitting a Demoulas family heir against an elderly Brandeis professor over a tony Back Bay townhouse, the Appeals Court has let stand a $1.85 Million jury verdict — one of the largest awards in a...

State Net Capitol Journal – April 20, 2015; States Getting Worse At Revenue Forecasting

Budget & Taxes States Getting Worse At Revenue Forecasting States have gotten worse at forecasting revenues over the past three decades, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York. Between 1987 and...

Under California Law, Absent Extraordinary Circumstances, Insurers Have No Obligation to Pay for Pre-Tender Fees and Costs under Duty to Defend or Reimbursement Policies

Disputes between policyholders and insurance carriers often arise in the context of an insured’s payments made before providing notice of a claim to its carrier. However, California courts routinely hold that, absent special circumstances discussed in more detail below, when the policy at issue...

Submitting Your Defense Bills to Insurers Could Mean Waiving Privilege

By Erica Villanueva Recently, the California Court of Appeal decided County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court , 235 Cal. App. 4th 1154 (2015), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], a case considering whether the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department...

Plaintiffs Beware: PTAB Fee Awards Might Be Headed Your Way

PTAB + Octane Fitness = Problem Back in 2014, I explained that the recent shift in exceptional case analysis under Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc . and Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Mgmt. Sys ., would provide opportunity for successful Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB...

WV Homeowners Associations Found to be Debt Collectors

In West Virginia, homeowners associations (HOAs) now need to worry about how they go about collecting delinquent fees. If HOA debt collection efforts do not comply with the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act (the WVCCPA), an HOA could face a civil suit and steep penalties. The Supreme Court...

DOS Fee Rule: Interim Final, Request for Comments

Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, Department of State and Overseas Embassies and Consulates — Passport and Citizenship Services Fee Changes The Department of State amends the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services (Schedule) for certain passport fees and citizenship services fees. ......

California Supreme Court Allows Insurer to Seek Reimbursement of Excessive Legal Fees Directly from Cumis Counsel Under Narrow Facts of Case

By Monique M. Fuentes and Michael McCarthy Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C. , California Supreme Court Case No. S211645 (Filed August 10, 2015), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ]: In JR Marketing , the California Supreme...

Research Co. Owes Almost $300K for H-1B Benching, Illegal Fees: Care Worldwide

"ORDERED: 1. Complainants’ Motion For Summary Decision is GRANTED; 2. Respondents will pay Complainant Almonte $134,750 in back wages, plus pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, in accordance with 26 U.S.C. § 6621, less proper withholding; 3. Respondents will pay Complainant Quilario...

California Supreme Court Will Review Appellate Decision Holding That Attorney Bills Are Privileged

In June, I blogged about County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court , 235 Cal. App. 4th 1154 (2015), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ]. In that case, the California Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District) concluded that legal...

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Judge Orders Hazleton to Pay $1.4M in Legal Fees, Costs - Lozano v. City of Hazleton

"The city of Hazleton must pay nearly $1.4 million to civil rights attorneys who thwarted the city's immigration law in federal court, U.S. Judge James Munley ruled Tuesday . Munley of U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Scranton awarded about half of the $2.84 million...

New Law Increases H-1B and L-1 Petition Fees: USCIS

USCIS, Jan. 12, 2016 - "The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113), signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2015, increases fees for certain H-1B and L-1 petitioners. These petitioners must submit an additional fee of $4,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $4,500 for...