Willie Gary, a Florida attorney whose personal Boeing 737 has an 18-carat gold bathroom sink, claims Motorola owes him at least $11,000 an hour for work on a lawsuit against the company.
But he’s pushing for more — twice as much — because Motorola violated a court order in defending the suit. And a Fort Lauderdale judge will decide shortly whether he gets his wish.
The case offers a glimpse into the moneyed world of big companies and the lawyers who make a golden living off them. But the twist is that Gary didn’t win the case — the trial ended in a hung jury.
”This is outrageous,” says Paul Alfieri, a spokesman for Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola. Motorola is the second-biggest maker of mobile phones behind Finland’s Nokia Oyj.
Gary, 59, represents SPS Technologies, a defunct Fort Lauderdale company that claims it went out of business when Motorola stole its technology for tracking motor vehicles. SPS charged Motorola also abandoned a joint venture to develop a system that combines roadside assistance with a satellite global-positioning system.
During a November trial, Gary asked for $10 billion in damages, 10 percent of the maximum value placed on the joint venture by Motorola’s accountants. The jury couldn’t reach a decision and a retrial is being scheduled.
But in the meantime, Gary — who calls himself ”the Brioni man” because he favors the Italian designer’s suits — is asking Circuit Court Judge Leroy Moe to approve at least $11,000 an hour, for a total of $24.3 million.