Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | Opinion

Editorial: 'Excessive' request for attorney fees in Cobell case




"Late last year, President Obama signed into law a $3.4 billion settlement with Native Americans who had sued the U.S. government for swindling them out of billions in oil and gas royalties. The settlement, Mr. Obama said, “closes a long and unfortunate chapter in our history.”

Not quite.

There are still several issues that a D.C. federal trial judge must sign off on, including how much to pay the lawyers for the Native Americans. This is where a new and unfortunate chapter of this long tale begins.

The original settlement as outlined by Congress contemplated legal fees in the range of $50 million to $99.9 million to the legal team — a jaw-dropping number made all the more shocking because the average Native American is expected to receive roughly $1,800."

Get the Story:
Edtiorial: Legal fee excesses in Indian case (The Washington Post 4/10)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Don't let attorney fee fight derail Cobell settlement (4/8)
Cobell plaintiffs oppose Republican bill to restrict attorney fees (4/6)
Rep. Young threatens subpoena over bill on Cobell attorney fees (4/5)
Audio from House hearing on bill to restrict Cobell attorney fees (4/5)
Witness list for House hearing on bill to cap Cobell attorney fees (4/4)
Rep. Cole questions need for bill to limit Cobell attorney fees (3/31)
April 20 deadline approaching for $3.4B trust fund settlement (3/29)
Subcommittee sets hearing on bill to limit Cobell attorney fees (3/28)
Elouise Cobell discusses settlement at University of Montana (3/24)
Cobell attorneys host meetings in Alaska to explain settlement (3/23)
Oklahoma beneficiaries question payment to Cobell attorneys (3/23)
S.E. Ruckman: Indian beneficiaries look for answers on Cobell (3/21)
United Keetoowah Band assists members in Cobell settlement (3/18)
Michael Roberts: Investing Cobell money in Indian institutions (3/18)
Lawyers in Cobell case discuss $3.4B settlement in Oklahoma (3/17)
So far, a few beneficiaries have opted out of Cobell settlement (3/16)
Audio from Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on budget (3/15)
Cherokee Nation estimates 1700 might benefit from Cobell deal (3/14)
Rep. Gosar signs onto bill to restrict Cobell attorney fees to $50M (3/11)
Cobell team to hold meetings in Oklahoma to discuss settlement (3/10)
Cobell attorneys say fee request not a big issue in Indian Country (3/9)
Bill to limit Cobell attorney fees to $50M referred to committees (3/8)
Cobell attorneys criticize Republican bill to restrict fees to $50M (3/4)
House Republicans plan bill to limit Cobell attorney fees to $50M (3/2)
Key deadline approaching for beneficiaries to Cobell settlement (3/1)
Dorgan calls Cobell attorney fee request for $223M 'shameful' (2/25)
Editorial: Lawyers the true beneficiaries in Indian settlements (2/25)
Cobell attorneys facing criticism over request for $223M in fees (2/24)
Elouise Cobell discusses Indian trust settlement in New Mexico (2/10)
Elouise Cobell headed to New Mexico to discuss $3.4B settlement (2/8)
Elouise Cobell to visit Navajo Nation to talk about $3.4B settlement (2/4)
Cobell team holding meetings across Indian Country for settlement (2/2)
Cobell attorneys detail request for $223M fees for 14 years of work (2/2)
Notification process begins this week for $3.4B Cobell settlement (1/18)
Attorney fees an issue as Cobell settlement moves ahead in court (1/4)
Shoshone-Bannock landowner not optimistic on trust reform at DOI (1/3)