Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Schack Slams "Fat Cat Bankers On Wall Street" In Failed Court Cost Ripoff; Calls CEO Dimon The "Fattest Cat" At JPMorgan Chase

In Brooklyn, New York, the New York Law Journal reports:
  • A Brooklyn judge has rejected a bank's request for $9,112 in costs for producing subpoenaed documents, calling the claim an example of the excess and greed among "fat cat bankers on Wall Street." JPMorgan Chase, a non-party in an action to confirm an arbitration award, sought 25 cents per page and $25 per hour for producing 18,248 pages of subpoenaed documents demanded by the petitioner. In a blistering 11-page decision, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack granted JPMorgan Chase only $1,250.27, or about one-seventh of the amount the bank requested.(1)


  • "Clearly, Chase's arbitrary $25.00 per hour ... fee for the unsubstantiated 182 hours of research by person or persons unknown only helps to unjustly enrich 'a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street,'" Justice Schack wrote in Matter of Arbitration of Klein v. Persaud, 8007/09. "This Court is not a collection vehicle to further enrich already rich bankers."

  • Schack called the bank's CEO, James S. Dimon, the "fattest cat" at JPMorgan Chase, citing Dimon's compensation of nearly $20 million in 2008.

For more, see Judge Slashes 'Fat Cat' Bank's Bill for Subpoenaed Documents.

(1) According to the story, the judge reduced the bank's hourly fee from $25 to $6.55 -- the minimum wage in Indiana, where the judge believed the work may have been done, at the time the documents were produced. "[T]he Court ... is guided by the principal that '[o]rdinarily, the retrieval and evaluation of documents should be done by the lowest-level person consistent with accurate and reliable identification of the material called for,'" Schack wrote. The 182 hours worked by JPMorgan Chase employees therefore came to $1,192, not $4,550, the judge concluded.

Schack then awarded JPMorgan Chase an additional one cent per page for the estimated cost of the paper, plus an additional two cents for "toner, copier maintenance and electricity." At three cents per page for only 1,939 pages, instead of 25 cents per page for 18,248, the bank deserved $58.17, not $4,562, Schack concluded. The judge ordered Klein to pay JPMorgan Chase a total of $1,250.27. (In chiseling down the cost reimbursement request for reproducing the documents, Schack noted that of the 18,248 pages that JPMorgan Chase produced, the bank placed 16,317 pages online, as opposed to printing them. For those pages, the bank only deserved compensation for labor and not supplies, Schack wrote, calling the bank's claim "disingenuous." Accordingly, he understandably refused to grant alleged multi-billion dollar "fat cat" JPMorgan Chase the three cent reimbursement for each of those pages it placed online.)

Reportedly, Simmons, Jannace & Stagg, the law firm that represented Chase, did not return calls for comment.

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