A federal judge has denied an attorney’s attempt to bill a client for legal fees totaling nearly two-thirds of the amount of a settlement the client reached with a municipality over an aborted drug-dealing case.

Northern District of New York Judge David N. Hurd ruled in Damiano v. City of Amsterdam, 04-cv-1012, that anything above a 33 1/3 percent payment to attorney Kevin A. Luibrand and his Albany firm, Tobin & Dempf, would be “excessive and unreasonable.” The judge reduced attorney fees to $29,000 from the $63,000 sought from the plaintiffs, Thomas M. Damiano and Rita Damiano.

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