This is Why There’s No Class Litigation in Idaho: Court Grants Settlement Approval But Cuts Counsel’s Rate to $280.00 an Hour
I don’t know why this story makes me chuckle but it does.
Let’s chat about something we rarely discuss these days—Idaho.
Nice spot. Big mountains. Big sky. Clean water. Trees. And interestingly—extremely low billable rates for lawyers.
Apparently partners in the local legal community charge about $280.00 an hour. Which seems… insane. (But many think the rates we charge in big law are the insane, so who’s to say.)
I bring up the subject of low-Idahoan legal fees because in Legere-Gordon v. Firstcredit Inc., No. 1:19-cv-360 WBS, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104612 (D. Id. June 2, 2021)the Court severely cut the plaintiff’s lawyer’s fee proposal based upon the low hourly rates available in the Idaho legal market.
The Plaintiff’s counsel in Legere had sought north of $170k in fees as part of a TCPA class action settlement, but saw that request cut down by more than half to $74,153. This is so not because the Court thought the settlement failed to deliver value–but because the requested hourly rate was just too high. Rather, the Court found the proper hourly fee for the case was $280.00 an hour and not the ~$600 an hour plaintiff had asked for.
So, there you go. If you need a lawyer, you’ll get your money’s worth in Idaho it appears.
Relatedly, Idaho doesn’t serve as home for very many class actions–even though it is in the Ninth Circuit. I wonder why.