Judge Disallows LexisNexis and Westlaw Expenses, Calls Services “Overhead”

In Class Lawyers Against Coke Get More Than $31.5 Million, Robin McDonald reports that U.S. District Court Judge Willis B. Hunt disallowed $93,960.67 for LexisNexis and Westlaw expenses in a $137.5 million class action securities fraud settlement. Judge Hunt explained, “This Court is of the opinion that charging separately for use of a research service is akin to charging for the use of a case law reporter. That is, the research service is a tool, much like a computer or a pen, and this Court considers the use of such a service part of a firm’s overhead. … Moreover, this Court is aware that many firms pay a flat rate to Lexis and Westlaw regardless of their usage, and class counsel cannot claim such flat rate payments as an out-of-pocket expense.” Read more