Legal professionals for former KUSI-TV anchor Sandra Maas needed $4 million for his or her 4 years of labor ending of their March trial victory within the pay-equity case.
However after an “extraordinarily detailed evaluation” of the fees, Choose Ronald Frazier stated McKinnon Broadcasting Co., proprietor of the conservative station, should pay $2.45 million, together with authorized and trial prices.
Maas herself gained a jury judgment of $1.75 million — which has but to be paid regardless of $1,000-a-day curiosity (about $64,000 thus far). So between Maas and her authorized staff, KUSI owes $4.22 million.
KUSI and its lead lawyer didn’t instantly reply to questions together with whether or not they plan to enchantment the order on charges and prices — after earlier vowing to enchantment the jury verdict.
On Thursday, 10 days after a Superior Courtroom listening to, Frazier issued a 5-page order detailing what lawyer charges and authorized prices he’d permit and which he wouldn’t.
Josh Gruenberg, one in every of Maas’ attorneys, took a “you-can’t-win-them-all” stance towards the end result.
In a cellphone interview, he stated his perspective was: “There’s no hurt in asking.”
Gruenberg needed Frazier to use a 1.45 “multiplier” of his legislation agency’s $2.7 million authentic cost for 4,088 hours of labor since 2019.
Frazier stated no.
He stated the Maas staff’s charges already “take note of the chance and delay in cost.” And he was “not persuaded” a multiplier was merited.
However Frazier stated: “After reviewing the shifting, opposing and reply factors and authorities and all declarations submitted, the Courtroom finds the charges charged by different counsel in employment actions are commensurate with these awarded to plaintiff’s counsel on this matter.”
Going by way of line gadgets with a fine-tooth comb, Frazier disallowed $81,000 of $151,000 in different prices.
The decide allowed the Maas attorneys to move alongside about $69,600 for things like deposition prices ($42,000), exhibit prices ($4,300) and deposition video modifying ($15,000).
Amongst different issues, Frazier disallowed opening argument and witness preparation prices ($11,550), parking charges ($123), Uber/Lyft fares ($247.11) and trial lunch payments ($848.05).
The decide additionally denied a $2,915 “information publicity” value, which Gruenberg described as a cost to a New York export in punitive damages “who was going to be ready to testify concerning the worth of the station.”
That skilled by no means was known as, since punitive damages weren’t awarded.
McKinnon Broadcasting Co. is within the strategy of promoting KUSI to Texas-based Nexstar Media Group for $35 million, and Gruenberg is worried about his invoice falling by way of the cracks.
So Choose Frazier has scheduled a so-called Judgment Debtor Examination for Sept. 29, “the place we’ll query [the] McKinnons concerning the location of their belongings,” Gruenberg stated.
“I’d count on [KUSI] to pay, however you need to perceive, I don’t know what’s happening with them as a result of they could be getting unhealthy authorized recommendation,” Gruenberg stated. “They is probably not listening to good authorized recommendation. They could be planning to enchantment.”
Gruenberg isn’t a lot anxious, nonetheless.
“I don’t think about this case to be dangerous for us,” he stated. “I don’t think about an enchantment to be dangerous for us.”
Gruenberg says if KUSI appeals within the case — with discover due by Sept. 5 — he’ll rent a lawyer skilled in appellate issues.
“In my view, that may find yourself costing them — not solely the cash that they need to spend on their appellate attorneys, however they’ll find yourself paying our appellate charges and, on prime of that, the curiosity,” he stated.
“In the event that they’re planning on enjoying video games with the sale of the enterprise, you realize, we’ve anticipated that and we’ve employed a group lawyer.”
He stated of KUSI: “Technically they’re debtors at this level — they owe us cash.”