Friday, March 28, 2008

Allentown Pays $1.25 Million to Outside Lawyers in 2006 & 2007

Allentown's Administrative Code has an interesting little provision (Section 171.06) requiring that the city annually publish a list of everyone who does more than $500 worth of business with the city. But you sure as hell won't find that published on the city's web page.

Thanks to Allentown's new controller, Bill Hoffman, I have a copy of the city's vendor list over the past two years, which I hope to have on line next week. This list reveals that, over the past two years, Allentown has paid a ridiculously high $1.25 million to outside lawyers. What is even more amazing is that between 2006 and 2007, attorney costs rose a whopping 41%.

Many of the attorneys in these firms just happen to be campaign contributors. So much for fiscal responsibility.

Here are the gruesome details.

Thomas M Caffrey: $10,816.25 in '07; $5,711.25 in '06

Fonzone & Ashley: $5,200.00 in '07; 5,200.00 in '06

Creveling & Creveling: $14,931.32 in '07

Stevens & Lee: $201,632.00 in '07; $95,598.81 in '06

Daniel F. Brent: $1,500.00 in '07

Ballard, Spahr, Andrews: $30,941.78 in '07; $59,748.11 in '06

Gross, McGinley, Labarre & Eaton: $88,647.88 in '07; $50,178.80 in '06

Brown, Brown, Solt & Ferretti: $19,152.51 in '07; $10,737.00 in '06

John Paul Simpkins: $4,455.13 in '07

McCarthy & Anewalt, LLP: $60,397.73 in '07; $54,163.53 in '06

Portnoff Law Ass'ts, Ltd: $41,174.44 in '07; $48,674.42 in '06

Daniel K McCarthy: $$10,285.00 in '07; $2,035.00 in '06

William G Malkames: $1,165.59 in '07' $45.00 in '06

Ralph H Colflesh, Jr,: $1,240.73 in '07; $450.00 in '06

Tallman, Hudders & Sorrentino: $33,290.03 in '07; $3,707.87 in '06

Davison & McCarthy: $12,685.23 in '07; $130,411.04 in '06

Karess, Reich & Furst: $1,750.00 in '07; $74.95 in '06

Dennis V. Brennan: $32,284.00 in '07

American Catholic Lawyers: $114,027.96 in '07

Fox Rotschild LLP: $105,181.03 in '07

2007 - $790,758.31

2006 - $466,735.78

Total - $1,257,493.69

Between 2006 and 2007, attorney fees increase $324,022.53, or 41% in just one year.


Anonymous said...

BO, Outstanding research. You are an asshole, but you know how to dig.

Anonymous said...

Numbers out of context are just numbers. Legal settlements, regulatory work, bond council, litigation, union negotiations, arbitrations aren't cheap.

Veritas said...


Why is so much being spent on attorney's fees?

Do they provide any indication what the fees are for?

Is there any substantiation for such an increase?

Anonymous said...

the american catholic lawyers? wtf?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Why is so much being spent on attorney's fees?

Numbers out of context are just numbers.

I'd love to have that context, but the Pawlowski admionistration is reluctant to share information with anyone who ius critical. TYhe only reason i got that vendor list is bc I did an end run around the mayor. A forty per cent increase, no matter what the reason, is a pretty big increase in one year. The amount paid before that is pretty outlandish, too.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell if all the fees paid are for work done for the city or are some of the checks to firms who sued the city and settled litigation, and then received an award of fees from the court?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The information I gleanded is from the "Vendor Balance Report." I may be werong, but doubt it includes settlements or att'y fees paid to those who sue A-town. They are not vendors. Moreover, it is very rare that att'y fees are awarded.

maverick said...

as always BO- good research. sounds very familiar to the situation in harrisburg where gov. rendell recently awarded $1 billion in no-bid contracts- which included $1.7 to Ballard & Spahr- his former law partners....????

Anonymous said...

Veritas said...

Why is so much being spent on attorney's fees""" Just ask BO He is a lawyer. Fees start at $200 an hour, and heaven forbid you make phone calls

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have just deleted an anonymous comment containing hate speech directed at part of A-town' population. I have NO threshold for hatr speech here. Try it on the Morning Call Reader Forum or on one of the other blogs.

Anonymous said...

Ok....I'll be more gentle and see if this works on my favorite local blog.

If people think the legal bills are high now, wait until the lawsuits/trials against the city for the police car accident at 7th & Chew get underway.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Much better. Thank you for trying ... and succeeding.

Anonymous said...

Burne, is it true that you are disbarred ? Did the discipline have anything to do with your actions as a government official ?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Burne, is it true that you are disbarred ? Did the discipline have anything to do with your actions as a government official ?

My license to practice law was suspended for 2 years in 1985. That is tantamount to disbarment bc I would need to be readmitted.
The discipline had nothing to do with my actions as a government offficial.

If you are trying to embarrass me into not writing, why don't you ask me about my love affair with Joe Long? I spurned him, and he never got over it.

Anonymous said...

Hey BO dig on this how much did northampton county spend on outside law firms to do the last round of contract negotations .See if you can dig that one up from John stoffa ask him about the 600,000.00 of taxpayer money.