Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fast Times at Hoover High

This post might seem to be way off topic at first. But hang in there with me. I actually have a point.

Readers who live in Alabama and follow football (which means pretty much everybody in Alabama) almost certainly have heard of Hoover High School. And many folks around the country are familiar with Hoover High and its powerful football program, which was portrayed in the MTV program "Two a Days."

Several teachers at Hoover have claimed they were pressured to enhance the grades of athletes, ensuring their eligibility for college sports. In response to the charges, the superintendent of Hoover schools announced that he has hired former federal judge Sam C. Pointer Jr. to investigate the matter. Pointer now is with the Birmingham firm of Lightfoot, Franklin & White.

The story made Legal Schnauzer's ears stand up when it described the amounts Hoover will be charged for legal services.

Pointer normally charges $600 an hour, but is giving Hoover the low-low rate of $350 an hour. He will be working with three associates from his firm, and they will charge $325, $290, and $250 an hour, respectively. If my math is correct, Hoover will be paying $1,215 an hour for lawyers to handle this investigation--at least when all four attorneys are working on it at the same time.

That kind of cash can pay for an awful lot of books, band equipment, computers, etc.

Just wanted to give readers an idea of how expensive a problem can become when lawyers get involved. My guess is that the Hoover school system has some kind of insurance that will cover all or part of the cost of this investigation. But what if you are not a large organization or corporation? What if you are just an individual getting hit with legal bills? And what if your insurance does not cover it?

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