A federal judge in California said Thursday she plans to hire a special master to scrutinize the billing records of plaintiffs firms in Anthem’s $115 million data breach settlement.
“I’m deeply disappointed,” U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh told lead plaintiffs attorney Eve Cervantez at a hearing on Thursday in San Jose. Koh, who has been a critic of attorney billing in past cases, appeared to be particularly incensed about how plaintiffs attorneys Cervantez, of San Francisco’s Altschuler Berzon, and Andrew Friedman, at Washington D.C.-based Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, brought in 49 other law firms—all of which submitted bills as part of a $38 million fee request. Among those additional firms were four of the eight law firms that Koh explicitly trimmed from the initial leadership team in 2015. Koh appointed Cervantez and Friedman as lead counsel along with plaintiffs steering committee members Michael Sobol of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and Eric Gibbs of Girard Gibbs.
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