Estimated Expenses of a Robinson-Patman Act Price Discrimination Lawsuit

The out-of-pocket expenses (or disbursements) for a Robinson-Patman Act price/service discrimination lawsuit can vary from as little as $5,000 to as much as $500,000 or more. This article discusses the low end of litigation costs.

First of all, it is assumed that you are able to retain an attorney or law firm to represent you essentially on a contingent-fee basis, and that the only amount to be received by the attorney is a fixed amount of money payable in advance or during the fir st few months of the litigation, which will probably be called an attorney's fee, but is really intended to cover various costs of the attorney relating to the action. Let us assume that this up-front legal fee will be $10,000-$20,000. It could be more or less.

Also, it is assumed that paralegal and secretarial costs will not be paid by the client until the end of the case (or are covered during the litigation by the initial payment to the attorney.)

The other costs, which may or may not be advanced by the attorney (which is something which should be spelled out in the fee agreement with the attorney) can be as low as:

  1. Filing fee upon commencement of action, $105
  2. Fees for service of summons and complaint, $25 per defendant, or assuming 3 defendants, $75
  3. Copying costs throughout the lawsuit, $2,500
  4. Deposition transcripts, $3,500
  5. Telephone, fax, messenger, postage, express delivery, $1,000
  6. Travel, including taxi/bus, $1,500
  7. Lexis or Westlaw online legal research, $1,500
  8. Witness fees (subpoena/travel), pretrial and trial, $300
  9. Expert witness fees, $3,500 (pretrial) plus $2,000 (trial)
  10. Data processing expenses, $1,500
  11. Reserve for unanticipated expenses, $1,000

The total amount of expense is about $17,480.

The expense can be shared by 2 or 3 plaintiffs with an impact on what each pays, but beyond 3 plaintiffs there is far less need for expense sharing.

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Copyright © 1997 by Carl E. Person