Monday, February 16, 2015

NCAA files opposition to attorneys fee motion in O'Bannon anti-trust case

Plaintiffs counsel Michael Hausfeld
The NCAA has filed its opposition to the class plaintiffs lawyers motion for $50 million in counsel fees in O'Bannon v. NCAA.  The NCAA argues that plaintiffs should recover only $9 million in counsel fees and proposes steep reductions in cost recovery.  
In August 2014 U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilkens ruled that the NCAA violated antitrust law by preventing student-athletes from being compensated for their name, image and likeness rights.
Wilkens' ruling allows schools to pay athletes licensing money into a trust fund starting in 2016. Financial damages were not part of the trial, but Wilkens said the plaintiffs "shall recover their costs from the NCAA."
The NCAA argues that plaintiffs lawyers application is flawed in that it they may not recover fees for work done on the case prior to September 1, 2012 when their theory of the case changed; they  may not recover fees for work done solely to advance claims upon which they did not prevail in substantial part, or for claims that were essentially abandoned; nor may they recover for "work that was unnecessary, redundant and inefficient, unsupported by plaintiffs’ billing records, or that did not reflect sound billing judgment".  Finally the NCAA argues that much of plaintiffs's claims of costs are "unsupported by their submission or the law".

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