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(Boston Herald)   Lawyers defend getting a third of $85 million Catholic Church settlement: "We actually lose money on this"   ( divider line
    More: Unlikely  
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8033 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Sep 2003 at 8:55 AM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

208 Comments     (+0 »)

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2003-09-11 08:57:30 AM  
What? No voting?
2003-09-11 08:58:11 AM  
I call bullocks.
2003-09-11 08:58:55 AM  
They should get 1/3 of 19%.
2003-09-11 09:01:05 AM  
And remember... at the Law Offices of Duey, Cheatem & Howe, we don't see a dime... until you see TWO!
2003-09-11 09:01:27 AM  
Why do they have to defend standard practice which was agreed upon by both parties? And it sounds like they're right.
2003-09-11 09:01:46 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2003-09-11 09:02:16 AM  
I'm not sure who I hate MORE..., the Catholic Church or lawyers.

I'll get back to you.
2003-09-11 09:04:13 AM  
its a little late for the people to be upset about having to shell over half to their lawyers now. if they had a problem with that then they should have found someone else before their lawyers got them them an 85 million settlement. they're still getting over 56.5 million.
2003-09-11 09:04:58 AM  
not half, a thrid, excuse me
2003-09-11 09:04:58 AM  
"Durso would gross about $2.1 million. But that money must go to cover the expenses of running his law firm - salaries..."

It doesn't mention Durso's $2M salary.
2003-09-11 09:05:23 AM  
"No one does it for the money."

You guys clearly need to give the lawyers the benefit of the doubt. I mean, they'd do it for free if they could!
2003-09-11 09:06:00 AM  
I think these lawyers need to spend some private alone time with the priests.
2003-09-11 09:09:44 AM  
I worked for some attorneys over the summer, and I'll be the first to say that I fully believe it when these guys say they'll lose money over this. People think that being a victims advocate is cheap and straightforward. Well, it's not, not hardly.

The firm I was working for represented a class action group filing suit against at least 12 large corporations (GE included) who manufacture welding rods. Turns out their products produce noxious vapors which can lead to Parkinsons disease. Not only that, but these corporations actually KNEW that their products had the potential to do so (remember the tobacco companies? sound familiar?).

In the short time I was there the firm paid, out of pocket, for two separate meetings with at least 250 clients. In these meetings the firm paid, again out of pocket, for: prominent neurologists to be flown in from out of state to test these poor people, a convention center to house all the operations, food for all the clients, and room and board for the 10-12 attorneys/ paralegals and 10-12 doctors/ nurses that it took to run the whole shebang.

So yeah, when attorneys take these "outrageous" fees, I don't think they're being scandalous, I think they're taking what they deserve for working so hard and fronting all that cake.

Representing people that have been wronged and asking to be paid = wrong? Give me a break.

/my .02
2003-09-11 09:12:49 AM  
I think its legit. I find it hard to believe anyone would give up 2 years salary for a case.
2003-09-11 09:13:40 AM  
Fark all lawyers. Greedy blood sucking leeches that live off of the misery of others, most of that misery created by themselves.
2003-09-11 09:14:03 AM  
You think thats funny, in a smaller paper just outside of Boston called The Patriot Ledger, there was an equally entertaining article.

There were interviews with some of the victims, the gist of it was that money would not help them get on with their healing. This was not about the money.

If not, then what was it about. The accused priests are being brought before the courts and imprisioned. The former Arch Bishop has had all credibility and status stripped from him. Just an FYI..Cardinal Law was a front runner to be the next pope. It's a fact that Rome wants to have the next pope be from the US.

Lets see what was done.
1. Remove people responsible - Check
2. Imprision those responsible - Check
3. Bring awareness to this situation - Check
4. Bring in new people with new ideas that will help resolve the problem - Check
5. Make sure this never happens again - In progress

If they truly cared about justice then the money would not be part of the "healing" process.
2003-09-11 09:14:37 AM  
yah, everyone hates lawyers until they have to go to court and need one.
2003-09-11 09:15:03 AM  
While you are all ranking out plaintiff trial lawyers - remember that if they lose they don't get paid. I've litigated cases that went on for years - only to lose in the end. In terms of the amount of time put into these cases (also considering the ones that don't pay off) 1/3 isn't an outrageous fee. They risk not only their time in a case, but also the expenses associated therewith. These cases are incredibly expensive. I've spent over $100k for an expert on one case - and they get paid by the lawyers win or lose.

Think about it this way: Defense lawyers bill at a standard hourly rate, win or lose, and always are reimbursed for their expenses. A mid-level associate and a partner at a national caliber law firm will run you a combined $750-800 an hour, minimum. Then think about the fact that the defendants had dozens of teams like the above working on these cases - resulting in millions of dollars, win or lose.

The plaintiffs lawyers will put in the same amount of time, and they probably win 1/3 of their cases. That adds up to millions of dollars in time from the loser cases that won't be compensated.

Just a thought. I'm a bit biased, though.
2003-09-11 09:19:41 AM  
So, MrKraclenutz, you're saying that buying food for the clients was a necessary component of their legal strategy?

While every corporation in America works overtime to cut costs, do things cheaper and better, lawyers have a laissez-faire attitude about spending because they know they'll just bill it to their clients.

/no sympathy
2003-09-11 09:20:21 AM  
No one won.
Everyone lost.

2003-09-11 09:20:38 AM  
So you defenders are making lawyers out to be a modified form of insurance? They take cases and they charge "fees" high enough to cover the expenses of the cases they lose too? What a racket.

Don't forget calling the client for 30 seconds and making that a billable hour then taking the day off to play golf (more truth than fiction, unfortunately).
2003-09-11 09:20:42 AM  
God forgive me but I am siding with the lawyers on this on too. It cost a HUGE sum of money to research docs, pay professional fees and all the overhead going into a case like this. The ambulance chasers are the ones that really give lawyers a bad name and why so many hospitals are closing doors. Some medical suits are well warranted but not all.
2003-09-11 09:21:55 AM  
I was going to give my own opinion, but MrKraclenutz and Litig8r said it far better than I could. The only thing I could add is: lawyers, like doctors, get paid so much because of their ability and the difficulty of their job.
2003-09-11 09:23:12 AM  
Oh how we laughed and laughed!

and Litig8tr....

Boo-Freakin'-Hoo. If people can go work at K-Mart for little money you can do the right thing once in a while and not get rich off if it.
2003-09-11 09:24:11 AM  
This reminds of the time I volunteered as a grief counselor for children and teens in a program called Calm Waters.

We had one day of training at a funeral home, where one of the salesmen/counselors (he was also a "pastor") told the group, "we really don't make much profit on funerals."

cough bullshiat cough
2003-09-11 09:24:20 AM  
Its called pro bono
2003-09-11 09:24:52 AM  

The reason tort lawyers have such a hard time getting respect from anyone, aside from just being lawyers, probably has a lot to do with all the frivolous suits they file. They ask for the shiat they get.

This firm was probably doing a good thing to raise awareness of the catholic church's pedophilia phenomenon, but they probably didn't give a rats ass about any of their clients. They are lawyers and therefore do nothing for any reason but to generate revenue. If they are losing money on this deal then their accounting practices should be called into question. Even if there is nothing to pay their cut, their tax write off should be pretty sweet.

These guys aren't dumbasses, I'm sure this settlement is a sweet deal for them.
2003-09-11 09:26:22 AM  
Boo-Freakin'-Hoo. If people can go work at K-Mart for little money you can do the right thing once in a while and not get rich off if it.

Here's what we'll do: set up a National Oversight Committee that guarantees that everybody makes exactly the same, regardless of what they do. That'll be fair.

Shame on anybody for making money while people have to work at K Mart. Won't somebody please think of the children???
2003-09-11 09:26:45 AM  
Wait, what do the lawyers have to defend?
2003-09-11 09:27:24 AM  
Don't forget calling the client for 30 seconds and making that a billable hour then taking the day off to play golf (more truth than fiction, unfortunately).

If your lawyer does this, then find a new lawyer.

Wait, that would involve doing something. Never mind.
2003-09-11 09:27:33 AM  
Did nobody watch Erin Brockovich? Oh...
2003-09-11 09:28:05 AM  
They are lawyers and therefore do nothing for any reason but to generate revenue.

And they are somehow different than the rest of us? Wanting to make money does not make you inherently evil.
2003-09-11 09:28:30 AM  
First thing we do is kill all the lawyers.
2003-09-11 09:28:57 AM  
Damn non-closing tags.
2003-09-11 09:29:32 AM  
There's a special place in hell for all the piece of shiat, scumbag lawyers.

I know, "scumbag lawyers" is redundant.
2003-09-11 09:30:19 AM  
My wife was involved in a class-action suit through a place she used to work. The settlement was small, $790 per plaintiff. By the time the lawyers got their dirty grubs out of the pot her total award was $250.

Fark 'em all.
2003-09-11 09:31:31 AM  
It's not perfect; I'll take our justice system over the Tabilan's anyday.
2003-09-11 09:31:38 AM  
I lost my respect for lawyers when they gave that $6 mil to the person who spilled McDonald's coffee on themselves.
2003-09-11 09:32:28 AM  
total idiot dude

It was Shakespeare. And, in context, it was advice on how to foment the collapse of civil society.

Otherwise, you were spot on.
2003-09-11 09:32:45 AM  

Cool. Next time don't call me. Opt out of the class and prosecute the case on a private, non-class action, non-contingent basis.
2003-09-11 09:33:27 AM  
People whine and p!ss about lawyers, until they need one. Then it's "Get me out of this mess I got myself into."

/recovering lawyer who got out in time
2003-09-11 09:33:55 AM  
40 Dog
I lost my respect for lawyers when they gave that $6 mil to the person who spilled McDonald's coffee on themselves.

The lawyers gave her the money? That'd be a switch.
2003-09-11 09:34:49 AM  
well clearly they aren't coming out of this with less money than they went in - when they say they're 'losing money' what they mean is that they coulda made a -hell- of a lot more by telling those molestered kids to take a hike, and stuck with other business.

they -did- take a hit to represent the case, and they did a good damn job too, if the archdiocese is mortgaging land to pay it off.

sure they aren't totally altruistic - but if the cut is too big, there are always other lawyers. less expensive lawyers. less experienced lawyers. lawyers who may blow the case entirely and leave you with nothing.

someone signed the dotted line, someone was happy when they won, then their eyes got big and they whined when they realized how much winning costs in big cases. just ask oj and kobe.
2003-09-11 09:36:24 AM  
The ironic thing is, she didn't even know she was involved in a class action suit until she got a letter explaining the settlement. I suppose I shouldn't complain too hard. it was $250 "found money." But the idea of the lawyers taking nearly 2/3 off the top before anyone else saw a penny kind of grilled my arse.
2003-09-11 09:36:35 AM  
Wrong 'they'. 'They' being the courts.
2003-09-11 09:36:44 AM  

And they are somehow different than the rest of us? Wanting to make money does not make you inherently evil.

Jumping to conclusions there gunsmoke. It doesn't make you evil, but don't make yourself out to be some friggin' Robin Hood either.
2003-09-11 09:36:52 AM  
It all depends on what you want the court system to do. It might be considered a failure if all you are looking at is helping victims recover from a shameful cover-up, but look how much good this will do for Lexus dealers and country clubs.
2003-09-11 09:38:28 AM  
This kills me everytime. Everyone goes on and on about how lawyers are unethical, money grabbing shysters, etc etc. Fact is, lawyers need to maintain a significant level of ethics to practice law. Any of you ever apply for law school? You have to disclose any illegal activity you've been charged with, including anything you did as a child and was subsequently purged or sealed. From what I've seen, the bar associations in each state takes the ethics of lawyers very seriously.

More to the point: how many of you would have your job threatened by a few minor violations?
2003-09-11 09:40:28 AM  
It really sucks when people get paid for doing their job.
2003-09-11 09:40:38 AM  
40 Dog
Wrong 'they'. 'They' being the courts.

I know that, I just wanted to see if you did. You lost respect for lawyers because a jury awarded her $6 million. A little non-sensical.

In actuality, the final number was I believe under $500,000. She has third degree burns on 6% of her body, including her genitals. She tried to settle with McD's for medical expenses, and they declined.

But it's definitely the lawyers' fault.
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