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September 13, 2018

Judge Cuts “Grossly Excessive” Attorneys’ Fees

A federal judge in Chicago cut an attorneys’ fee request in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act settlement from 35 percent down to five percent because of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s behavior, the Cook County Record reports.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman cut the fee award from the requested $2 million to $425,000 due to the “conduct and representations of lead class counsel.” The judge said the lawyer, Joseph Siprut of Siprut P.C., “started off on the wrong foot” when he challenged an objector’s credibility based on a history of felonies that did not exist. Siprut also failed to provide actual time records to support his claim that his team spent more than 2,164 hours on the settlement. The defendants told the court their team worked less than 1,000 on the case.

Judge Feinerman said the “uniquely distressing circumstances” of the case warranted the drastic cut in fees.

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