John D. O'Connor has more than 40 years of experience dealing with complex Attorney Fee Disputes. He is a member of the National Association of Legal Fee Analysis (NALFA) and is recognized as one of the top legal fee experts in the country.
Mr. O’Connor has tried over 70 cases in federal and state venues throughout the country, with highly enviable success in complex, contentious disputes. Retained by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company as trial counsel in key cases, he has achieved a pretrial dismissal in each concluded action. He has held the highest Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rating for over 25 years, and has consistently been named a “SuperLawyer” by his Northern California peers.
A former Federal Prosecutor, Mr. O’Connor was chosen lead outside counsel in certain S&L crisis litigation, defended a California Attorney General in campaign-related litigation, and successfully represented Golden State Warriors basketball Coach Don Nelson in significant contract claims.
Litigation Support - Since the advent in the late 1980’s of adversarial legal auditing, Mr. O’Connor has served extensively as an expert, litigator, and JAMS mediator throughout the country, analyzing audit criticisms, applying community standards, and construing applicable case law. Through written Declaration and oral testimony, he has consulted on hundreds of adversarial legal fee disputes over three decades. Mr. O'Connor's work has been widely lauded by clients, lawyers, courts, and arbitrators.
Grant D. Stiefel, Esq. is a nationally-recognized, full time attorney fee consultant, testifying expert and the principal of Litigation Limited, a boutique legal fee consulting firm
Mr. Stiefel has testified in nearly 100 lawsuits, including matters in federal district courts, California trial courts, JAMS/AAA arbitrations, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, State Bar courts, and attorney-client fee arbitrations
He has qualified to testify and has testified live at trials and arbitrations as a designated attorney fee expert
Mr. Stiefel’s methodology for reviewing, auditing and evaluating legal invoices has been cited, approved and adopted by California state and federal courts
He has been retained as a testifying attorney fee expert by the world’s largest law firms, including Reed Smith; McDermott Will and Emery; Jones Day; Sheppard Mullin; Sidely Austin; Dykema Gossett; Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe; and Littler Mendelson, among many others
Mr. Stiefel is a member of the California State Bar and is unique among fee experts in that he practiced law for many years at two of the world’s largest law firms (Akin Gump and K&L Gates)
Mr. Stiefel has managed a multi-billion dollar litigation portfolio and has audited hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees from law firms nationwide since 2008
He has developed and implemented outside counsel billing and case management guidelines for Fortune 500 corporations
He is a California State Bar-approved continuing legal education instructor on attorneys’ fees who has trained hundreds of executives and in-house counsel from a host of Fortune 500 corporations
Mr. Stiefel is qualified as an attorney-client fee dispute arbitrator with the California State Bar’s Mandatory Fee Arbitration program and as a judge pro tem with the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles
Grant Stiefel was the testifying fee expert on a series of fee applications by class counsel in Jones v. Wells Fargo, on behalf of aggrieved California consumers in the first consumer class action brought under the Unruh Act. Relying upon Mr. Stiefel's testimony regarding the reasonableness of hourly rates and overall work performed, the trial court awarded more than $25 million in attorneys' fees to class counsel
The district court for the Central District of California adopted and approved Mr. Stiefel's methodology for identifying and quantifying block-billed, vague and redacted billing entries in cutting Plaintiff's fee request by more than sixty percent in CNS v. Planet, from $4.8 million to $1.9 million
In Vides v. ABM Janitorial Services, the trial court reduced Plaintiff's fee request in a FEHA action by over $1 million based upon Grant Stiefel's expert testimony. Plaintiff moved for an award of $1,578,232.50 in attorneys' fees, which the trial court reduced to $544,183.12. Mr. Stiefel's testimony showed that the hourly rates claimed by Plaintiff's counsel were unreasonable under the circumstances, that excessive time was spent on inter-office communications, and that the matter was overstaffed
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