ST. LOUIS — St. Louis' lawyers in the Rams litigation were entitled to expense reimbursement, in addition to 35% of any winnings. And they've collected, a document shows.
In November, the three public plaintiffs — the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and the board that owns the Dome at America's Center — settled the lawsuit against the Los Angeles Rams and National Football League for $790 million. It had been filed in 2017 over the team's 2016 move from St. Louis to Los Angeles.
The new document, obtained through an open-records request, shows exactly what the governments and their attorneys — with Dowd Bennett LLP and Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch LC of Clayton — got.
On Dec. 14, Dowd partner Jim Bennett wrote to NFL attorneys with Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Covington & Burling LLP, instructing them to wire $512.6 million for the governments to a trust account at Commerce Bank in Kansas City. Another $277.4 million was to go to a different trust account at Commerce for Dowd and Blitz. The city's top lawyer, City Counselor Sheena Hamilton, was copied on the correspondence. An official with the Dome board, called the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority (RSA), said last week "the attorneys have received their portion."
Dowd and Blitz, which took St. Louis' case with an agreement that they'd get 35% of any winnings, had therefore been entitled to collect $276.5 million of the $790 million settlement, which was delivered Christmas Eve. But their contract, entered in February 2017, also said that they were to be reimbursed from the winnings for costs including photocopies, filing fees, court reporting, depositions, transcripts, witness fees, subpoenas and expert witness fees.
Those would appear to have totaled $910,861, based on the difference between the amount collected, $277.4 million, and the $276.5 million figure.
Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.