Peter Rickmyer, who sued various Northside neighbors as well as this blogger (but never managed to serve me, and then I went to AFGHANISTAN) is currently facing a load of attorney fees over his failed lawsuit, State Ex rel Peter Stephenson a/k/a Peter Rickmyer v. Joan Fabian, et al, 27-CV-11-11012.
One of the defendants, Michael "Kip" Browne, had excellent legal help from David Schooler of Briggs and Morgan. The total legal bill as of April 27, 2012 comes to exactly $61,318.40.
I am absolutely convinced that Peter "Spanky Pete" Rickmyer...
...has the forty cents.
Schooler's short, to-the-point affidavit explains how the amount was determined. Schooler himself makes $445 an hour. Another attorney who assisted, Michael Wilhelm, makes $275 an hour. Per agreement with the Defendant, Michael Browne, Briggs and Morgan is paid a "blended rate" of $250 for attorneys and $140 for paralegals.
All in all, the invoiced hours add up to the aforementioned grand total. However, only $20,000 in reasonable attorney fees are claimed. While this is a somewhat confusing point, the bottom line appears to be Spanky is in hot water either way.
David Schooler's affidavit contains a lot of boilerplate about reasonable rates compared to other firms, how the invoice contains a detailed breakdown of the work performed, stuff like that.
Jill Clark, who stepped in to represent Pete and lost (twice, actually) has filed a brief entitled "Plaintiff's Memorandum Opposing Any Attorney Fees To Brown." Since it's already been determined Browne WILL receive attorney fees, and we're merely trying to determine HOW MUCH, it would appear Clark is chasing her own tail like a mad dog. But since that's kind of amusing to watch, let me tell you all about it.
"With due respect, the law firm that represents Michael Brown (sic) over-litigated this case."
So Clark begins, and in the very first sentence she manages to misspell Browne's name and make a sublimely ridiculous statement. Peter Rickmyer is a "Rule 9 frivolous litigant." So if anybody "over litigates" it's Peter and, of course, Jill Clark herself.
Clark proceeds to say there's "no proof" Browne has paid fees and she suspects Traveler's Insurance is the real payor. Even if that's true, I don't think it makes a bit of difference. Browne is on the hook for attorney fees and has a right to recover those from Spanky.
Clark attempts to split hairs (something Peter doesn't have very many of, either) and point out the law states a party must petition the court for attorney fees, but here the court sua sponte (on its own initiative) said Browne deserved attorney fees. So now Clark has to petition this VERY SAME COURT and say "Browne shouldn't get any fees." What motivates somebody to get out of bed in the morning for such an exercise in futility? Sheer madness, I suspect.
Clark cries out that Browne's attorney has "created mounds of paperwork, most of it unnecessary." My prose fails me at such a moment as this. How does one even RESPOND to such precisely worded hypocrisy?
"No, that's, like...what YOU do!"
Clark whines that Browne refused to accept service by mail and that Spanky had to serve Browne personally. More than once, actually. Rickmyer had to pay service fees, apparently.
Cry me a river. A frivolous litigant deserves any obstacle that falls into his path.
Let me just do this "whine list" style. Here's what Clark is complaining about.
Numerous Rule 11 motions. Plaintiff withdrew his motion that the anti-SLAPP law was unconstitutional, but Browne's attorney briefed it ANYWAY. Minor little scheduling beefs, now regurgitated. And, most interesting of all, Browne's attorney apparently scoured court records from all over Minnesota, looking to make an argument that Clark was not on medical leave. Clark darkly references "false and defamatory statements" apparently made about her and this alleged, supposed, purported, who-the-heck knows WHAT it is medical condition. (Click here for previous coverage on Johnny Northside about the mysterious medical malady which so specifically impacts Clark's "brief writing ability.")
Clark makes some kind of argument about some paper being late. It's frankly too tedious to summarize. She tries to make some kind of claim that Rickmyer was never served. Clark whines about how she supposedly had to make a trip to the "B Vault."
The "B Vault" is pretty scary, I will admit, but only because you might run into Creepy Pete down in those pipe filled basement hallways.
Johnny Northside prediction: The court will award fees and Clark will appeal. Clark will lose by a 3-0 ruling on the Court of Appeals. Clark will try to appeal to the State Supreme Court, which will deny cert.
And then, finally, a copy of the judgment will be slapped as a lien upon Spanky Pete's house.
Frankly, behind the scenes there has already been an argument about "what happens if Northside revitalizers eventually come to own Creepy Pete's house after he goes to his creepy reward?" I have consistently advocated preservation. I say it's a good, solid house. Pete's disgusting creepiness is merely part of a colorful history.
But nearly everybody else wants to burn a bale of sage and then bring in the backhoe.
Ironically, me and Clark are in the exact same position.
We're not going to win this argument.