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April 20, 2008

How much would Jesus pay?

jesus.jpgHow much did the city of Slidell, Louisiana have to pay after losing a lawsuit about posting Jesus' portrait in the court house? $1, plus the ACLU attorney's fees. Slidell's Mayor Ben Morris didn't expect the legal fees to amount to much. He labeled the ACLU the "American Taliban," and added, "The ACLU doesn't usually have attorney fees." One local resident, responded to a local news story by pointing out that there was no proof that the individual in the portrait was actually Jesus, and that by banning the single portrait, the government was officially recognizing that image as Jesus -- therefore making it a "win for all Christians." After the ACLU filed suit, city officials added 15 additional portraits of historic and religious law-givers such as Confucius, Hammurabi, Moses, Charlemagne, Sir William Blackstone and Judge Judy (strike that). This new exhibit -- ruled not to violate constitutional standards -- was part of a strategy suggested by the organization providing the city's defense, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).

April 14, 2008

Trump Towers; Lawyer Cowers - Not

trump2.gifHow much is Donald Trump suing his (former?) New York law firm for? $3 million. The Donald claims that the firm, Morrison Cohen, did unnecessary work in order to generate inflated bills. The dispute arose out of a lawsuit Trump brought against a contractor who worked on Trump National Golf Course. Morrison Cohen partner Y. David Scharf represented Trump in the lawsuit and won $2 million in damages and $1.3 million in attorney fees. The Donald reportedly paid $1 million in fees to the firm, which is now seeking an additional $470K in unpaid fees from the Great Comb-Over. Trump, who claims to have a "Ph.D. in legal fees," downplayed Scharf's victory in court, claiming, "We won the case because I'm a great witness."

Has The Donald tangled with his lawyers before? Former Morrison Cohen co-founder, Robert S. Cohen, who left to start his own firm in 2003, represented Ivana Trump in her attempt to overturn a prenup with Trump. Trump won that one.

What other Trump litigation is ongoing? DT's being sued for trademark infringement (for $4 billion) and age discrimination (by an Apprentice reject); and he's suing Palm Beach (over a flagpole) and Rosie O'Donnell over ... oh, whatever.

December 11, 2007

Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's 2007

rod.jpgHow much was Rod Stewart ordered to pay for canceling a 1999 New Year's Eve concert? A jury ruled that the 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy' singer must return a $2 million advance and pay an additional $1 million in legal fees, interest, and penalties for failing to show up at a Las Vegas gig. (Stewart canceled due to throat surgery.)  How much additional money did Stewart and his legal team have to pay after being held in contempt of court? $150,000. Maybe that's why the case dragged on for seven years (and no, that's not one dog year!)

How much does it cost for a blogger to defend a libel lawsuit? $93K, according to celeb blogger Perez Hilton, who's seeking to recover his attorney fees from Samantha Ronson, Lindsay Lohan's BFF and stepdaughter of Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones (and no, she's not the daughter of former David Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson). Ronson accused Perez Hilton of libel (something to do with Ronson's involvement in Lohan's DUI case) and the case was tossed out. Now, Hilton wants Ronson to pay his attorney fees.  What's the hourly rate for a blogger's attorneys? Perez Hilton paid between $275 and $375 an hour.

How much does it cost to defend yourself in an RIAA file-sharing lawsuit? $114,363.18, according to attorneys for Debbie Foster, who successfully defended herself in a lawsuit in which the recording industry accused her of illegal downloading. Foster's request for legal fees from the RIAA was whittled down to $68,685.23 by a judge who determined that an attorney should handle this kind of dispute in 339 hours and should charge $175 an hour. (Besides SecondLife, where can we find that attorney?)

How much does it cost to sue an English rock band for firing you? £250K. That's how much ex-Oasis bass player Tony McCarroll paid his attorney for settling a lawsuit against his former bandmates. Legal fees ate up almost half his settlement (£550-£600K) from the band. That's unfortunate, but it certainly doesn't merit his being labeled the "stupidest man in showbiz."