The way it works, Mike, is if the Judge rules that Judge Pearson has to pay the legal fees, which I bet she would if she inkled that way; then a judgement for that will be entered with the court. That judgment lets the plaintiffs off the hook as to paying their defense attorney and then it is up to the defense attorney to collect the debt. If this defense attorney collected that money in advance from his clients, then he should reimburse it, plain and simple, at least the way I see it. However, not everything is plain and simple in this business.
I joked about this case with an attorney a few weeks ago, actually. We both agreed we would not be surprised if the plaintiff in this case wasn't paid under the table by some tort reformer entity to make this big stink just to draw negative attention to litigation once again. I doubt that that is what happened really....that was just a joke. *smile*
Oh, and btw, every state's laws are different to some degree. In my state, the loser in this case would most probably have been bound to pay all costs and attorney's fees in a case like this. Actually, in my state, this lawsuit would never have made it to Court to start with. I don't know the laws of the District of Columbia ('course not a state at all, but probably has it's own set of laws).
There are attorneys who do pro bono work. This is a case that someone should have taken on pro bono, no doubt in my mind. With as much press as surrounded this case, I just have to wonder why no one stepped up to the bat and offered to take the case for the defendants pro bono or why they did not go through legal aide. Maybe, they had big egos, too, and thought they would get a better defense if they paid for it?
And the moral of this story is: Caveat emptor. (For both the consumer who chose the wrong place to get his pants altered and the drycleaners who hired an attorney who charges such fees that would bankrupt them.)
PS: In the legal field, when a judge says they will "consider it" usually means a positive outcome, at least from what I've seen. It also can mean that this is a separate ruling which she has to take under consideration, meaning that this element has to be done separately after her review and is simply a procedural thing. If she had said, "no comment" or nothing at all, then it would be bad news for the defendants more than likely. I'd be curious how this turned out.
PPS: This is what happened.
Stupid, stupid lawsuit really. We can agree on that.
[This message has been edited by iliana (09-12-2007 11:39 PM).]