More than $5,000 of the latest round of proposed legal fees and expenses in the Archdiocese of Agana bankruptcy case have been reduced, following investigations by the U.S. trustee and Chief Justice of the Court of US District Frances Tydingco-Gatewood regarding billing.
This brings the latest combined billings to approximately $631,873, down from the estimated $637,125 originally submitted by six law firms.
Tydingco-Gatewood canceled the hearing originally scheduled for last Friday and will issue separate orders granting the revised claims.
In previous hearings, the judge said every penny saved on fees and other costs meant more to clergy sex abuse complainants.
The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2019 over clergy sex abuse lawsuits demanding more than $1 billion in compensation. There are approximately 270 clergy in Guam who claim sexual abuse.
Of the six law firms that submitted invoices for services rendered from August 1 to November 31, 2021, five received discounts, which they accepted, after being questioned by the judge and the US trustee.
Only Blank Rome LLP’s seventh interim claim for $23,475 was approved as is. That brings the total compensation expected from the court to Blank Rome, the archdiocese’s special counsel for insurance, to about $235,115.
Stinson LLP, the Minnesota-based attorney for the official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, including clergy sex abuse plaintiffs and other creditors, got a reduction of about $2,310, to about $261,557 . The total price is estimated at $2.5 million.
Elsaesser Anderson Chtd., the Idaho-based archdiocesan attorney, got a $919.50 cut, to about $166,298. The court has so far awarded him approximately $1.37 million, including the final scheduled order.
Patterson Buchanan Fobes & Leitch, special counsel for the archdiocese, won a spending cut of about $1,117 to about $136,000. He has so far received around $710,700.
Guam-based attorney John Terlaje, attorney for the archdiocese, also secured a bill reduction of $825, to around $33,850. He has so far received around $260,200.
Hiller Law LLC, special counsel for the committee of creditors, specifically in the Alabama bankruptcy case of the Boy Scouts of America, was granted a reduction in costs of $80 to approximately $4,314. This is the first time the law firm has filed a fee claim.
These are in addition to professional and legal fees the court has awarded to other entities involved in the archdiocese’s bankruptcy since January 2019. Estimates place the total amount at $6 million.