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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts
Posted: June 18, 2016

What Opponent Paid its Counsel is Relevant In Dispute of Reasonableness of Attorneys’ Fees

On June 6, 2016, Justice Oing of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Macy’s Inc. v. J.C. Penney Corp., Inc., 2016 NY Slip Op. 31045(U), confirming a JHO’s decision ordering a party contesting an attorneys’ fee award to produce its own legal bills, explaining:

JHO Gammerman properly determined that [the defendant’s] billing records are material and necessary to the determination of [the plaintiff’s] reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses. [The defendant] seeks to challenge [the plaintiff’s] legal bills in this case as unreasonable. What [the defendant] paid for its own legal costs in the same litigation is, thus, directly relevant to resolution of this issue. As JHO Gammerman properly noted, the reasonableness of attorneys’ fees on one side can be influenced by the fees paid by the other side to its attorneys.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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