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The Dodgers are learning how expensive it can be to be bankrupt

Aug 23, 2011, 11:34 AM EDT


Bill Shaikin has a rundown of all of the Dodgers’ legal expenses in the five weeks or so they’ve been in bankruptcy. It’s fairly mind-boggling.

Just one of the firms handing the Dodgers’ bankruptcy — Dewey and LeBoeuf — has thrown 29 lawyers, seven paralegals and ten support staffers at the matter and, in five weeks, have billed $1.7 million.  Billable rates for the lawyers range from $385 an hour for the pissant associates to $1000 an hour for the big bad partners. That’s about 80% of the total legal bill the Dodgers have incurred. Another firm is working on the matter too.

With the caveat that (a) I don’t know anything about how the internal dynamics of a bankruptcy case really works; and (b) my experience in moderate-sized Midwestern law firms doesn’t exactly give me insight into what big coastal law firm billing is really all about — that does seem nutso to me.  I mean, sure, this is complicated, but it’s not Enron or something. It’s a business that, until very recently, was a mom and pop operation.

  1. Old Gator - Aug 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Oh yeah, the Dodgers. Been quiet on that front lately.

  2. yankeesfanlen - Aug 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    So, Craig, speaking of big coastal firms, what did the suits at 30 Rock impart upon you yesterday?

  3. nolanwiffle - Aug 23, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Dewey & LeBoeuf? 1.7 mil in five weeks?! When did Cheatham and Howe cede their partnerships to LeBoeuf?

    • danandcasey - Aug 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM

      Dewey Cheatham & Howe merged with LePew & Le Boeuf ( real stinker of a firm) to form the current firm.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 23, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    my guidance counselor screwed me.

  5. Jonny 5 - Aug 23, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    I don’t know, I think McCourt can run a small Mom and Pop operation exactly like Enron did, and into the ground at the exact same time without even trying too hard. The man is amazing!! Breaking the Dodgers into a bunch of smaller companies and stuff like that. Whoda thunk a swami could be used to channel positive energy? I mean he must have channeled it away right? Because there isn’t much good energy left there anymore. But the fact he even thought of doing such a thing speaks volumes……

  6. IdahoMariner - Aug 23, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    some days I can’t believe I decided to be a prosecutor and NOT make that kind of money…but most other days I am really happy about it — because I can live with myself.
    How is it even remotely reasonable to throw that many lawyers at this? it seems like the legal part of it would be, at most, a small team of lawyers (maybe 5 at most) (because how unsettled is bankruptcy LAW? not very unsettled, is my guess), but the forensic accounting part (how is this thing structured, where did all the money go, where are the remainng assets) would be where all the personnel should be. That is just….unconscionable.

  7. umrguy42 - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Has it only been five weeks? It feels longer.

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