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August 17, 2007



The hourly fee, $525, seems excessive for an obscure academic who is, no doubt, paid a handsome salary.

The reduced fee of $325 because there was "an educational component" to the litigation seems ridiculous. She's connected with the law school, so all the work should have an educational component.

Her bio refers to her having been part of an "all women partnership." Are we supposed to be impressed by that?

Also, the part about splitting the remainder of the fees with law students: doesn't California have a rule against fee-splitting?


Good for her! I'm sure she gets paid far less than a first year at Seyfarth as a clinical professor--but her experience is on par with any Biglaw partner. I think she should charge whatever Seyfarth's partners charge

Nell Jessup Newton

Your article is written as if Donna Ryu will personally receive any fees from the Murphy case. Actually, all fees will benefit Hastings Civil Justice Clinic in order to train more students in lawyering skills, providing the kind of incomparable experience received by the students who worked on the Murphy case. The fees will also help the Clinic continue to provide excellent legal services to underrepresented clients in the Bay Area. Cuts in funding of higher education by the State, from 80% of the academic budget in 1990 to 27% of the academic budget today, impede Hastings' ability to expand its clinical offerings. Attorneys’ fees and cy pres distributions are essential to our ability to continue our clinical programs.
--Nell Jessup Newton, Chancellor and Dean, UC Hastings College of the Law

Kelly Chen - Hastings Alum, class of 2007

I have to disagree with Mark’s comment about the fee. I don’t see the $525/hour rate as excessive comparing to what the defense lawyers might be charging Kenneth Cole in this very same case. From this perspective, the $325/hour rate definitely is a generous discount.

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