Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fee Me

When you got that first paycheck you were dismayed to learn that the amount was less than the simple equation of the hours work times the rate. Yes, there were deductions eating into the total and while the incomes taxes would come back to in a check from Uncle Sam the FICA was going to your blue haired neighbor for use at the bingo hall.

When Anna Nicole Smith and her late husband's son fought over how to divide up the estate the lawyers, one might suspect were willing to take the case based on the ability of the winner to pay them off. In the recently resolved Rich Rodriguez v. West Virginia University case we can see that the lawyers for the winning side were paid about 10% commission for their work (not a contingency case). Meaning the university will recover $3.6 million. Robert Fitzsimmons and son of Wheeling have donated their services valued at $109,577 which is less than they would have paid for an equal amount of exposure via advertising.

For comparison, back in 2001 Peter G. Angelos, owner the Baltimore Orioles wanted 25% of the $4 billion that the state of Maryland won from the tobacco companies. He later settled for a mere $132 million slice of the pie, but only looking greedy to the public.

The only piece left in this puzzle is the cost of the combined University of Michigan/ Rodriguez legal fees.



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