RI Legal Battle Against 38 Studios Could Cost Taxpayers ‘Millions’

According to this GoLocal Providence report, the legal battle against 38 Studios has already cost the state $840,000 in legal fees and related costs, and could cost taxpayers "millions" by the time it comes to a close. Only a fraction of the total amount ($156,000) has gone to the firm representing the state, Wistow & Barylick, Inc. The firm is keen to win, because if it does, it stands to make a lot of whatever a court could manage to squeeze out of 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling, former 38 Studios executives and a number of other companies and individuals named in the ongoing legal battle.

A copy of the firm's contract with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (formerly known as the Economic Development Corporation) shows that it will charge a sixteen and two thirds percent contingency fee. That means that Wistow & Barylick will get a sixth of however many millions the state recovers from the lawsuit, assuming that it manages to be a successful.

The remainder of the $840,000 mentioned earlier has apparently been split up between two other firms. Shechtman Halperin Savage, the new general counsel for Commerce RI, which has been paid $584,046 between June 2012 and April 2014. A third firm, the New York-based Cohen & Gresser LLP, last year received $102,615 representing the state before the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is also investigating the 38 Studios deal.

GoLocal Providence has reactions from local law experts and lawmakers in this report. The gist of the comments indicated that the contingency fee is less than what is normally charged and customary practice in these sorts of cases.

Source: GoLocal Providence

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