In complicated cases, the attorney’s skill in obtaining defensible attorney fee awards is of paramount importance. Attorneys often have to employ the same lawyerly expertise used in proving their case in order to establish that the attorney fees they want to charge are reasonable and fair compensation for the services that they have rendered.

A prime example of a current case involving a heated dispute over the reasonableness of attorney fees is the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case involving Houston-based Cal Dive International, filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Cal Dive and its affiliates constitute a marine contractor that provides highly specialized manned diving, pipelay and pipe burial, platform installation and salvage, and well intervention services to a diverse customer base in the offshore oil and gas industry, with operations around the world.

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