Now that Click and Clack are retiring after 25 years of dispensing home-spun car repair advice on NPR, who will step up to fill the void?
I know a certain Magistrate Judge who may be interested.
Consider this extended vehicle analogy (plus bonus musical reference!) where lawyers are compared to cars in a case where the Judge is awarding fees in a routine FLSA matter:
This analogy can be extended further in this case because two partner-level attorneys were used. To that end, the Court’s point here is that only one Ford Fusion was required to drive Plaintiff across the finish line of a trial to a jury verdict, and any other lawyer-driven vehicles would need to be compensated under a more-reasonable approach. Thus, Mr. Georges-Pierre may well also be a Fusion-type driver who controls his client’s trial vehicle in FLSA cases, but the statutory reimbursement standards will treat him as though he was driving a pre-owned Toyota or a motorcycle (or any other kind of transportation option less expensive than a Fusion but still more than adequate to transport this case to a verdict in Plaintiff’s favor).Ok, maybe it's just me but I got the analogy after the first sentence.....
Of course, there may well be cases where the client is, in fact, entitled to be reimbursed for two Ford Fusion-type attorneys or a single BMW-type. There may even be some rare, esoteric and complex cases, such as antitrust cases and sophisticated, science-laden patent infringement cases, where the prevailing party is entitled to be reimbursed for a Ferrari. But this is certainly not one of those cases. Screen did not need to select two solid, reliable Ford cars in a routine FLSA case where the compensatory damages were less than $10,000. He could have traveled along the litigation highway in a base model Ford Fusion1 (without the luxury package), followed in tandem by a used (albeit “certified”) Toyota Corolla. To invoke a musical reference, the fees motion is somewhat analogous to the plight articulated by iconic blues singer B.B. King in “How Blue Can You Get,” a/k/a “Downhearted,” from his 1962 album Blues in My Heart: ”I gave you a brand new Ford and you said ‘I want a Cadillac.’”2
Without commenting on whether any of the lawyers in the case are worthy of Ferrari, Cadillac, Ford or Toyota rates, the hourly fee rates paid by a client are not necessarily the same as the ones used by a court awarding statutory, “reasonable” fees and the trial staffing decisions are also not going to be automatically adopted by a court.
I also like footnote one:
1 Henry Ford’s motto was “simplicity.” http://gardenofpraise.com/scramford.htm (last visited July 20, 2012). In the early years, this simplification resulted in only one color choice. He famously wrote: “People can have the Model T in any color – so long as it’s black.” http://quotes4all.net/henry%20ford:3.html (last visited July 20, 2012). Had Screen followed Mr. Ford’s business philosophy, he would have used a partner and an associate, not two partners, for the trial.Actually, had Screen followed Mr. Ford's business philosophy, he would have used a partner and an associate, not two partners, for the trial -- provided none were more than 1/8 Jew.