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Water district found itself drowning in steep legal fees

Water district found itself drowning in steep legal fees

Facing a lawsuit from cities over its pumping rates, the Water Replenishment District of Southern California called in the big guns.

Latham & Watkins LLP -- a blue-chip, international law firm with more than 2,000 lawyers – would be the "bazooka" the agency needed, director Albert Robles said.

"I wanted to intimidate the cities," said director Robert Katherman.

But that strategy came with a price: Latham & Watkins charged hourly rates of $285 for a paralegal up to $790 for a senior partner, according to district records. Aleshire & Wynder LLP -- the firm representing Downey, Cerritos, Signal Hill and Bellflower -- charged $150 and...

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