I try to stay away from Britney Spears related stuff... except when it comes to the legal aspect of it. Over the weekend, I noticed that Britney Spears' father, Jaimie Spears, who is also her conservator, has instructed her lawyers to fight the legal bills incurred by Kevin Federline which were awarded by the judge in the case.
Now, thats not unusual. Especially in cases where the earning imbalance is probably as great as it is between Spears and Federline. Right now, Federline's attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan of Kaplan & Simon, has turned in a bill for approximately $500,000.00. Spears' camp is fighting this, claiming that Kaplan and his firm are only entitled to somewhere between $150,000.00 and $175,000.00.
Part of the reason for taxing the Federline's attorneys' fees is some of his spending habits. The one that is most frequently brought up in reports is how K-Fed tipped a waiter $2000.00 on a bill of $365.00. He ha also been spending a fair amount on jewelry, apparently as much as $20,000.00, leading the Spears' camp to claim that Federline may have more money than he is revealing.
All of this is kind of what should be expected from a Hollywood style divorce. No biggie.
But the part that drove me nuts when I read it was how Kaplan was defending his billing. Apparently, it is being reported that he is charging Federline $600/hour. Now Kaplan is quoted as saying, "When you have a case with monitored visitation, that is not a regular case." He also went on to state that the case consumed his entire attention and that he was not billing for any media time.
Huh? So for all the other family specialists out there whose clients have to go through Rally, or other programs like it, all have unusual cases? Good grief, this guy needs to get a reality check and stop being so-damned greedy. I'm an attorney and I can't imagine anyone's time being worth $600/hour.
Somehow, I bet if I looked, I would find a whole slew of time which would say something along the lines of "Develop strategy regarding..." [i.e. lawyer speak for (sometimes), I was thinking about this matter, but can't really think of any way to justify it since I was just thinking about it as opposed to actually moving the case forward.]. And I bet if I added up enough of those, it would cover all the media time in addition to what would normally be needed to actually prepare a case.
In my opinion, you take away all the media coverage and this is much like one of my own family cases (which G-d willing I will soon be done with). A ne'er-do-well husband. A mother with some mental issues. Kids caught in the middle. Truly extraordinary my [insert item here].