Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | Opinion

Editorial: Withdraw bid for 'exorbitant' Cobell attorney fees




"When Congress at long last approved a $3.4 billion settlement last year to Natives for the shameful way it handled their trust accounts for more than a century, it seemed that all that remained was for the government to start writing checks.

Experts estimated that the average size of the checks would be about $1,800. Many, including plaintiff Elouise Cobell of Montana's Blackfeet Nation, felt that the amount was far less than was owed, but the possibility of a larger settlement seemed slim to nonexistent. The settlement won support from the National Congress of American Indians.

Now the settlement has been stalled for a reason that is old as time.

Greed.

The attorneys in the case assured Congress that their fees in the case that dragged on for 15 years, would be in the range of $50 million to $99.9 million.

Now, the attorneys want to more than double that amount to $223 million. If they are successful in the attempt, the amount that goes to tribes would be reduced."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Attorney fee request out of line (The Lincoln Journal Star 4/13)

Related Stories:
Big turnout for Yakama Nation meeting on Cobell settlement (4/12)
Editorial: 'Excessive' request for attorney fees in Cobell case (4/11)
Additional meetings scheduled in Indian trust fund settlement (4/11)
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)