LRANY executive director Tom Stebbins was quoted in the New York Post commenting on a Manhattan judge’s recent decision to slash a law firm’s fee request:
A Manhattan judge called a demand for a half million in fees by a law firm against four middle-class homeowners “highway robbery without the six-gun.”
Attorneys from Greenberg Traurig — where former mayor Rudy Giuliani practiced until joining the president’s legal team— asked Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron to award them $464,000 in fees against four owners of units at the Lower East Side co-op Seward Park.
The homeowners had sued the building over parking spaces.
The Greenberg lawyers, representing the building, had won a preliminary motion to dismiss the case a year after it was filed.
Engoron notes in his ruling that the “staggering sum” could purchase a one-bedroom in an Upper East Side doorman building or a four-bedroom home in Nassau County.
“By requesting astronomical fees, attorneys are in danger of killing the goose that laid the golden egg,” he warned.
He slashed the fee by nearly 40 percent to $175,000.
A spokeswoman for Greenberg Traurig said, “We respectfully disagree with the characterization of our firm’s fees in this matter on which our client prevailed.”