Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Slots case: all dollars and no sense?

Rifkin, Livingston, Levitan & Silver LLC, the firm that is representing the Laurel Racing Association, submitted its April bill this month, and here are the grand totals:

The firm asked for $329,806.80 in legal fees — 80 percent of the more than $412,000 it would have typically billed — and for nearly $40,000 in expenses.

The bill had to be submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware because Laurel Racing’s parent company, Magna Entertainment, filed for Chapter 11 in March. It’s also itemized, so we know that Managing Partner Alan Rifkin spent 192.9 hours on the case at a rate of $505 per hour for a total of $97,414.50, and Partner Michael Berman spent 266.9 hours at an hourly rate of $395 for a total of $105,425.50.

OK, maybe I can see where they’re going with this. After all, the application fee was supposed to be $28.5 million, so I guess the racing association, a subsidiary of the bankrupt Magna Entertainment Corp., saved $28 million by hiring attorneys to argue their case in court.

But the longer the case, which is now in appeals, goes on the more expensive it gets for the racing association. And if they eventually get the decision overturned and win, won’t they eventually have to front the money if they still want to bid on a license to operate slots at the track?

At what point does arguing this case become a waste of time and money?

One comment

  1. $505/hour for an attorney who has been counsel on a handful of cases? Wow.

    In response to your question, it’s a waste of money. Given the timing of the filing of the bankruptcy action, doesn’t it seem clear that the money was not posted because Magna lacked the money? But, pay your lawyers $100,000s to delay things. Pay your lobbyists … how much? And maybe you can manipulate the process eventually and have things go your way anyway.