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Trustee urges judge to tear up billings by lawyers for Dodgers

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The law firms representing the Dodgers in their bankruptcy case should be denied payment of $352,742 in bills, according to court papers filed Thursday.

The federal trustee assigned to the case asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross to deny what amounts to 21% of the initial $1.66 million in bills submitted by the firms, Dewey & LeBoeuf of Los Angeles and Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor of Delaware.

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The trustee argued that the firms should not be paid for efforts to keep confidential the fees associated with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt’s initial financing proposal and should not be paid for efforts to pursue that loan even after Major League Baseball countered by offering an unsecured loan.

“It should have been apparent to Debtors’ highly experienced and highly qualified bankruptcy counsel” that the efforts on both fronts were not necessary and did not benefit the Dodgers and thus were “not compensable,” according to the filing.

[UPDATED, 3:55 p.m.: Dodgers spokeswoman Lyndsey Estin said the law firms would challenge the trustee’s request.

“Their fees are completely consistent with appropriate billing practices, and they expect that 100% of the fees they have requested will be allowed,” Estin said.]

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-- Bill Shaikin


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