Last week Jones County Circuit Court Judge Billy Joe Landrum awarded over $12.5 million in attorney’s fees and expenses in the Evans v. Baker & McKenzie legal malpractice case. Here is the Order for the Plaintiff’s fees. Here is the Order for the Cross-Plaintiff’s fees.
Judge Landrum awarded the Plaintiff attorney’s fees of $9,602,372 and expenses of $228,043. He awarded the Cross-Plaintiff $2,532,819 in attorney’s fees and $203,113 in expenses. In both cases the attorney’s fee consisted of 10% of the recovery plus actual hours spent on the case.
Mississippi law allows plaintiffs who recover punitive damages to seek attorney’s fees and expenses. In this case the award raised Baker & McKenzie’s total liability exposure to over $115 million. Of course, it is Baker & McKenzie’s liability insurance company that is potentially on the hook. Throw in the cost of bond and the appeal and there is something like $120 million riding on the appeal.