Update: UO pays Bill Gary $315/hour to argue Bowl of Dicks lawyers are overpaid

Update: This post originally said “~$450/hour” for HLGR’s Bill Gary. I’ve now been told by the GC’s office that they negotiated him down to $315. The first time I asked for the billable rates for UO, the Public Records Office redacted them as trade secrets. I’d forgot about this, but they neglected to redact them from one invoice, so I have this info, showing we were paying Gary $290-$305 an hour in Jan 2013:

Lets call it a 5% increase over three years. Not bad considering the down legal market and recent public debacles from HLGR, such as when they represented Eugene’s 4J School District in the RG’s lawsuit to get the Berman public records. Right in the middle of the lawsuit someone at HLGR mistakenly emailed the entire dump of records to the Register Guard. Whoops: http://uomatters.com/2015/05/harrang-long-gary-and-rudnick-too-transparent-with-potentially-incriminating-public-records.html. Word is that 4J quickly found a new law firm.

And the city of Eugene got rid of Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick in 2014, apparently saving millions in the process:

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1/11/2015: The Greeks had a word for this kind of shit:

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Bill Gary is the well connected lawyer who in 2012 successfully argued that the state should have to pay himself and the other HLGR attorneys *twice* their normal billable hours – $868K – for their work on the Mark Long lawsuit against John Kroger’s DOJ. This case was an abortive precursor to the Cylvia Hayes scandals that ultimately brought down Governor Kitzhaber.

Randy Geller, at the time UO General Counsel, submitted a brief in favor of HLGR’s double-billing. I filed an ethics complaint against him and Gary with the Oregon Bar, as explained by Nigel Jaquiss in Willamette Week. It turned out that the Bar was not real excited about disciplining lawyers for trying to get money, and after some back and forth they told me to go away. Geller now works for HLGR – go figure.

But before HLGR hired him Geller had hired HLGR’s Andrea Coit, to defend UO against UOPD officer James Cleavenger’s First Amendment retaliation lawsuit. She lost.

The jury awarded Cleavenger $755K in damages, plus legal fees. Coit objected to the jury’s decision and to the fees, and Judge Carter has agreed to come back to Oregon in February and hear her plea. And now UO has added Bill Gary to the case:

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My guess is that Gary is charging UO $450 or so an hour Gary is charging UO $315 to try and convince Carter that Cleavenger’s Kafoury and McDougal attorneys are getting paid too much. I’m not sure how much HLGR has already billed UO on this, but it’s probably close to $500K so far. For losing.

Oh yeah, Gary also argued for the state in the recent lawsuit over Kitzhaber’s PERS cuts. I wonder how much he billed for that? He lost.

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12 Responses to Update: UO pays Bill Gary $315/hour to argue Bowl of Dicks lawyers are overpaid

  1. Really says:

    UO: We didn’t retaliate against this employee, and we’ll spend every available resource and countless lawyers fighting that claim and making sure they never work here again.

    Everyone else: Still waiting on that apology for telling a student, our mayor among others to eat a bowl of expletives.

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  2. SaveUofO says:

    I estimate that by the time all this litigating is done and the UofO likely loses, we will be looking at a cost closer to $2mil. The apology will cost more. How could the UOPD boss not have fired anyone over this and not issue an apology??

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  3. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    In the last line, uomatters is alert to the fact that Bill Gary argued in 2014 for the state’s disastrous attempt at PERS “reform,” leading to a unanimous 8-0 vote against the state.

    This leads me to point out that reportedly the Oregon public universities are arguing that further attempts must be made to cut PERS, so that they will not increase in future biennia to cover the present stock market malaise (which leads to shortfalls in the PERS trust fund).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if UO in on this. The most common proposal seems to be to eliminate or “redirect” all or part of the 6% “pickup.” In other words, up to 6% of your salary would be used to cover a payment presently made by the employer (UO).

    In effect, an automatic pay cut for all UO employees. Wouldn’t that be convenient for the employers? The old Oregon University System has tried stuff along these lines before i.e. management is not to be trusted to be on the employees’ side on this.

    Whatever the merits of this scheme, it’s a good idea to be aware of what is probably brewing for us as public employees.

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  4. steve says:

    I attended trial several days of the trial to listen to Cleavenger testify. Cleavenger himself admitted on the stand to adding multiple names to the Bow of D@#$ list. Shouldn’t he be giving an apology as well. He is also the one who admitted to the court that he refered to the occupy camp as district 9. I agree the U of O screwed up but Cleavenger did as well and everyone needs to be held accountable including Cleavenger.

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    • KnockKnock says:

      You attended several days? As counsel or defendant? You seem to have some detailed insights for a casual observer. Come on now. Let me guess. Andrea Coit? UOPD chief? Am I warm? I’m sure I am. You must have a lot of time on your hands to just hang out at a trial for several days.

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      • moi says:

        Well he says his name is Steve. LOTS of folks attend trials for many reasons. Why would you jump to the conclusion that he was counsel or defendant? Or do you just disagree with what he said? You must have a lot of time on your hands to respond to this blog…as I do.

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  5. DICK says:

    Bill, I see you have chosen a new victim to harrass. Is it because he made you give back the documents? Called you on a lie? Or because he was a good friend of DFs? Because he makes more money that you do? Come on, let us know why you hate this guy.I wonder why he is involved in so many high profile cases and why people keep hiring him even though he costs so much. Could it be that he is a really good attorney? Professional? Respected? Does it matter to you at all?

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  6. Frankie says:

    Cleavenger lied continuously in court and often changed his stories. Why do you endorse this pathetic human? Is it because you don’t like police? Do you not like UO? What did any defendant do to you?Cleavenger is the one who retaliated simply because he can not accept feedback of poor performance and being caught lying on state time. I suppose his pelvic thrusts toward female students while in uniform is what you would expect from an on duty campus cop?

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    • uomatters says:

      The jury listened to 2 weeks of testimony, went through all the exhibits, heard HLGR’s Andrea Coit argue that Cleavenger was at fault and not Chief McDermed et al., heard the judge’s instructions on the law, and then unanimously decided in favor of Cleavenger.

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    • KnockKnock says:

      I see someone from UOPD has reared their ugly head. The jury spoke loud and clear and so did a neutral arbitrator. Both sided with Clevenger. Don’t retaliate against your employees and if you do there will be serious consequences.

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  7. Your shoes are in the mail says:

    It’s odd to have so many commenters wanting to support the defendants’ actions. Do they get free Air Jordans for talking trash about this case or something? Anyway, it doesn’t matter what Cleavenger did or didn’t do, he wasn’t the one on trial this time. Nice guy or not UO still misbehaved badly, and they frankly seem pouty about having a consequence for that. The jury looked at all of the facts of the case, and did not need much time to decide what the truth really is.

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