City vs sonics trial in seattle and attorney fees

The lawsuit by the City against the Sonics basketball club has been tried to a federal judge without a jury for the past week. The Seattle PI today points out that the lease, which is the subject of the controversy,had a clause requiring the loser to pay attorney fees and costs. The paper reports that former senator SladeGorton is being paid at $685 per hour to advise the city and their trial lawyer Paul Lawrence is paid at $420. It says Gorton is an advisor at trial. There are other associate lawyers assisting as well. It notes that the City had already paid the Gorton firm $1 million for advisory work. It notes that the City’s sports expertwas paid $17,753. The Sonic’sgroup paid $100,000 for a public survey to show community attitudes.Keep in mind this wasa one week non jury contract dispute. I doubt these facts will improve public attitudes about lawyers and their costs. This illustrates the illogic of tort reformers whose real goal is tokeep poor people from hiring lawyers since the rich and powerful have no problem financing their litigation, butwant no restrictions on them – only onthose who want to sue the rich and powerful. When we read about these huge multi million dollar verdicts they most often involve one huge corporation suing another in commerical litigation rather than some poor injured person trying to get justice. —–

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