LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – With a swagger in his step and a gold tie around his neck, Guido Saveri exuded an air of largesse Wednesday morning.
Moments earlier, a federal judge had approved attorney fees for Saveri and other plaintiffs lawyers who reached a $325 million settlement in a price-fixing case against companies that make DRAM computer chips.
Lead plaintiffs attorneys say an estimated $81.5 million, or 25 percent of the total settlement, will be split as fees between some 40 firms that worked on the case, which was brought on behalf of companies that used the chips in their products.
“Tony, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee,” Saveri told co-counsel Anthony Shapiro of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, who argued the fee motion before Northern District of California Judge Phyllis Hamilton.
Attorney fees in class actions can be calculated as a percentage of the settlement amount or by multiplying time spent on the case by an hourly rate set by the court, known as the lodestar method.
In a 34-page motion filed last month, Shapiro defended a percentage award by highlighting the hurdles the plaintiff side had to clear to get a recovery in the case, In Re Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) Litigation, 02-1486.
“This settlement was achieved in the face of a scorched-earth defense, fueled by defendants and their counsels’ nearly limitless resources. By any measure, the result here was superb, but particularly considering the mammoth task of litigating such a large, complicated case and the enormous risks posed by this litigation,” Shapiro wrote.
Hamilton quickly granted the unopposed fee request Wednesday, noting that the plaintiffs attorneys sent out a million settlement notices to members of the class and received only five objections. She praised the lead attorneys from Saveri & Saveri; Hagens Berman; and Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz for doing “an exceptional job” of coordinating and litigating the case.