During my paralegal career, I’ve witnessed several court decisions that have had a positive impact on the issue of paralegal fees, including Missouri v Jenkins and Richlin v Chertoff. I was privileged to be present at the US Supreme Court on the day the Richlin case was argued.
Now there’s another case that you can put in your ‘Paralegal Fees’ arsenal:
EDGE FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC, P.A. a/a/o SHIRLEY C. WISE, FRANCES MASON, EDGE FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC, P.A., a/a/o JENNIFER McMILLAN, Respondents.
Case No. 1D10-0565.
In this case, the Court found “that the Circuit Court did not depart from essential requirements of law in affirming county court order awarding attorney fees and costs to parties prevailing in PIP cases and, further, that there is no clearly established law prohibiting application of multiplier to paralegal fees that are included as part of attorney’s fee award. Section 57.104 clearly supports inclusion of paralegal fees as attorney fees.”
The Respondents cite section 57.104, Florida Statutes, which provides:
In any action in which attorney’s fees are to be determined or awarded by the court, the court shall consider, amont other things, time and labor of any legal assistants who contributed nonclerical, meaningful legal support to the matter involved and who are working under the supervision of an attorney.
The important impact of decisions such as this cannot be overstated. When any Court regognizes the value of attorney utilization of paralegal services as a cost efficient way to deliver paralegal services…and that paralegal time should be billed the same as other professional staff, it is one more boost in the recognition of the valuable roles paralegals play in the legal arena.
Follow this link to access this decision.
Source: 35 Fls. L. Weekly D1438a and http://www.leagle.com/unsecure/page.htm?shortname=inflco20100625214