Local Attorney Estimates Cost of Mountain Water Courtroom Case at Nearly $1 Million
It took about 10 days for both sides to present their cases before District Judge Karen Townsend in the Mountain Water Condemnation lawsuit.
One of the unanswered questions, with so many attorneys, displays and experts testifying, was the overall cost of presenting the trial. Local attorney Quentin Rhoades told the Talk Back show on Thursday that, although he has no direct knowledge of the actual costs, his firm uses a formula to estimate the costs a client may face if they choose to bring a matter to court.
"The formula goes something like this," Rhoades said. "It's the number of days for the trial that you estimate, or in this case is 10, times 12 times three. That's 360 hours per attorney for the preparation and presentation during the trial."
Rhoades said the overall total takes into account that some of the more prominent attorneys can demand up to $500 per hour.
"So, I would estimate to prepare and present this trial, not including the two weeks following the closing for both sides to present their briefs to the judge, you're looking at $750,000 to $1 million to present the trial."
Judge Townsend will make the ultimate decision on whether or not the city has the right to force the purchase of the Mountain Water Company through the process of condemnation. That decision could come within the next two weeks.