Plaintiffs' Lawyers Should Get Nothing From Bristol Bay Lawsuit
November 15, 2003
"These Outside lawyers came to Alaska, convinced the fishermen they could win a billion dollars, and lost," Murkowski said. "Now, they hope to take away $12 million in fees, on top of $4.5 million in costs. I believe the fees should be shared by those who have been hurt by this exercise in poor judgment, namely, the fishermen and the processors. This lawsuit has had a devastating impact on our markets, particularly in Japan. It will take a significant, concentrated effort to rebuild what has been lost."
The superior court will decide on the disposition of $40 million in the agreement, which was generated when two of the defendant processors settled their part of the lawsuit before it went to trial.
Murkowski said that under the agreement each of the 4,500 fishermen would receive a share of $9.7 million, averaging a little over $2,100. Adding another $6 million to their portion could make a significant difference to many of them.
"And I think it only fair
that the processors should get the other half," Murkowski
said. "They had their industry turned upside down. Their
managers were sitting in depositions and in court instead of
attending to business. They now have to reconstruct an industry
left in shambles, while the Outside lawyers left town in a limousine.
That's not justice."
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