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38 Studios Documents to be Unsealed

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Judge Michael Silverstein of Rhode Island Superior Court said Friday that documents from the 38 Studios lawsuit will be unsealed -- and the top staffer for the Superior Court spoke following the announcement about how that will move forward. 

GoLocal spoke with Henry Kinch, the Clerk of the Superior Court, about how the process will unfold. 

"We'll be meeting Monday morning with electronic filing experts," said Henry Kinch on Friday morning.  "At that meting, the process will be discussed and developed."  

"More will be coming on Monday after we meet. we'll be bringng in our "subject matter experts", they're a small group of 3-4 people who are our go-to people. I know [Silverstein] said 10 days [to release the documents], so he's giving us leeway," continued Kinch.  "There's a lot of it -- we'll need to discuss how it will be filed, by date, those types of things."


Retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank Williams was appointed to mediate a high profile Rhode Island lawsuit. 

Williams told GoLocalProv in May that he was appointed as the mediator in the case by Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael A. Silverstein in an attempt to settle the dispute between the State of Rhode Island as well as the mediator between the state and the defendants in the 38 Studio's lawsuit case.

Williams was widely credited for his efforts to settle the lawsuit between the state and the public sector unions who filed suit against the state for changing their pension benefits.

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced earlier this month that it has reached a $12.5 million settlement with defendants Adler, Pollack & Sheehan P.C., Robert I. Stoltzman, J. Michael Saul, and Keith W. Stokes in the 38 Studios litigation.  The settlement was filed in Rhode Island Superior Court today and is contingent upon court approval.

"The 38 Studios settlement approved today by the Commerce Corporation Board ends several years of extremely costly, time-consuming and distracting litigation.  Adler Pollock & Sheehan and the Plaintiff will never agree on issues of responsibility, liability and damages; but they do agree that it is in the best interests of all concerned to put this matter behind them so that this dispute will finally end," said Adler, Pollack and Sheehan in a prepared statement. 


Related Slideshow: 38 Studios Legal Fees

New state records show that state legal fees associated with the 38 Studios bankruptcy are nearing $1 million. Below is a breakdown of how much each firm has made - and stands to make in the future. Figures are taken from documents provided by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. 

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Cohen & Gresser, New York, NY

Billing rates:

Partners: $650-$750/hour
Counsel: $550-$650/hour
Associates: $300-$595/hour
Paralegal: $100-$225/hour

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Cohen & Gresser's Fees:

Total Fees (2013): $102,615.20

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Shechtman Halperin Savage, Providence, RI

Billing rates:

Attorneys: $250/hour
Paralegals: $100/hour
Legal Assistants: $50/hour

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Shechtman Halperin Savage's Fees

2012: $407,899.60
2013: $156,348.37
2014: $19,799.00

Total Fees: $584,046.97

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Wistow & Barylick, Providence, RI

Billing rates: 

Attorneys: $175/hour, $225/hour & $250/hour

Contingency Fee: The RI Commerce Corporation agreed to pay Wistow & Barylick 16 2/3% of the gross of any amount recovered from a lawsuit, compromise, settlement or otherwise. This is not stipulated with the other law firms. 

Note: Wistow & Barylick will only be paid at these rates if the state terminates its contract with the firm. 

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Wistow & Barylick's Fees:

2012: $18.121.05
2013: $90,630.15
2014: $48,054.17

Total Fees: $156,805.37

Note: The above amounts paid to Wistow & Barylick cover the cost of out-of-pocket expenses such as filing fees, costs of depositions, obtaining records, charges for computer-assisted legal research, costs of expert consultants, and the costs of witnesses.   


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