Being a lawyer seems lucrative

The Indianapolis law firm of Ice Miller has charged Indiana University $460,840.76 through the end of July for its work on the NCAA’s investigation into the men’s basketball program.

In the most recent bills sent to the university — received through a public records request made by The Herald-Times — Ice Miller billed IU for 687.30 hours from April 1st through July 31. The total bill, including expenses, for that period came to 211,034.37.

The three Ice Miller attorneys that worked on the case were heavily involved in preparation for Indiana’s hearing with the Committee on Infractions in Seattle in June, the records show.  They also represented IU there.

Indiana had been charged $249,806.39 from July 2007 — when an intern in the compliance office found 3-way calling patterns and spurred the hiring of the law firm with strong NCAA ties — through March of this year.

Indiana has been charged with failing to monitor — a major violation — the former men’s basketball coaching staff, two members of which face charges that they violated NCAA recruiting rules. Former head coach Kelvin Sampson, now an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks, and former assistant Rob Senderoff, who returned to Kent State as an associate head coach, have been accused of purposely circumventing limits put on contact with recruits.

A decision on the case is expected any day. Though the NCAA does not comment on ongoing cases, it appears as though the committee on infractions is in the process of completing a document that details its findings and any punishments given to the university or the former coaches.

Read the bills for yourself.

21 comments

  1. How lucrative? Ask Fred Glass. He’s the one taking a “six-figure pay cut” to take the job. I don’t know many attorneys in that kind of position.

    On the flip side, Greenspan will make about as much money as Ice Miller just for going away (not-so-quietly. Something about book rights?!?). Seems like being unwelcomed is just as lucrative at IU.

    As for almost a half mil. in legal fees, we’ll soon find out how wisely that money was spent.

  2. Chris,
    Would you please have the invoices scanned in and posted. The value IU is getting is in the details. Curious minds want to know. Thanks for your hard work and your mastery of the english language. It raises the bar.

  3. Because you’ve massaged my massive ego, I will post them.

    (Actually, it was a brain fart not to include them when I first made the post.)

    Let me know what you notice.

  4. I don’t think the question of value can be resolved by examining invoices. It can only be addressed by results; i.e., how effectively the defense deflects the charges against IU. The amount of the bill just reflects the number of billable hours, which would be about the same regardless of who’s doing the work. And I’m not even sure the outcome of the case will reflect the effectiveness of IU’s defense, given the NCAA’s apparent delight in putting IU through the ringer (see: adding the failure to monitor charge right before the hearing,when IU hadn’t had much time to prepare for it).

    All that aside, is there any indication when the NCAA might at last come back with a decision on the IU case?

  5. eric,

    The NCAA added the failure to monitor after — and as a result of — the hearing.

    And I didn’t really mean to judge the value; this is the cost of playing the game nowadays.

    The decision could come any day now. The committee on infractions is presumably finishing its report and reviewing it (carefully, it seems). It will issue a copy to the university 48 hours before making it public (the involved individuals – Sampson and Senderoff – will get a copy 24 hours before then.)

  6. Let’s see–Herbert at $369K/year for what? Brehm for $230K plus for what? Sampson, God only knows!
    Greespan, God only knows? And what about the people in upper admin that do nothing but draw 6 figure salaries–and then there’s the really hard working service and maintenance folks and clericals who earn little but are in danger of seeing their meager jobs outsourced! The problems in this country do not end with the banks and the auto companies–when will the taxpayers and our local HT stand up and say enough is enough–this must end sometime and someplace–and to think poor old Herman carved this out of the wilderness so that these incompetent flunkies can destroy all he built!

  7. That’s why I’m in law school.

    Chris, to clarify, this legal bill will be paid for by the athletic department and therefore not true public dollars or no?

  8. Chris, I find it amusing that immediately after being praised for your mastery of the English language, you respond with the oh-so-eloquent phrase “brain fart.” Thanks for the laugh.

  9. iu pays its legal staff hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. the head counsel gets about a quarter million per year. yet anytime there is a difficult or controversial case, they refer it out, to ice miller, who starts the meter running and sucks the public teat dry and then waits for the next case to come along. not a bad gig, all the way around.

  10. For that sum, I expect a little more detail on an invoice. All I can tell is that R. Green Harris had a terrible cinco de mayo.

  11. How lucrative? (redux) Apparently only marginally more lucrative than being a former NCAA staffer.

    Contrary to the Scoop’s report (sorry Chris), Ice Miller only employed 1 attorney in our case. The other two employees for whom we were billed are not attorneys.

    But not being an attorney doesn’t mean you come much cheaper.

    Mark Jones, an 18-year NCAA enforcement guy, billed IU at $285/hr.

    Jones’ hourly fee is only $35/hr. cheaper than the attorney’s. At $320/hr., attorney Robin Green Harris is also a former NCAA gal (5-yr. Director of Infractions).

    Just how lucrative is it to be Jones? For less than 2 1/2 weeks worth of work (97.9 hrs.), Ice Miller billed IU $27,901.50 for Jones’ services.

    That’s approx. the same amount an full-time hourly IU worker makes in an entire year.

    Fear not though, one need not earn a J.D. or work at the NCAA to get the big bucks. Ice Miller also billed IU at $225/hr. for the services of Carrie McCaw.

    McCaw is a former volleyball player (Syracuse) and asst. volleyball coach (Rutgers) who earned her Masters of Science in management (?) at Indiana Wesleyan and there wrote a paper on Title IX.

    IU will pay $53,775 for less than a month and a half of McCaw’s work (239 hrs.) Or, approx. the same amount 2 full time hourly employees would make at IU in a year.

    Just to round out our exercise, IU will pay $112,128 for less than 9 weeks worth of the attorney’s work (350.4 hrs.)

    You can figure out how many hourly employees that would pay at IU.

    I’m going to see if the NCAA is hiring. I guess having worked there is almost as lucrative as lawyerin’.

  12. Man, I’m glad somebody picked up on the brain fart thing.

    And you’re right, Chronic. That’s my mistake identifying them as attorneys. I remember being shocked when I did the original research on those names and finding they weren’t actually lawyers. It just seems ludicrous that anybody could charge that much per hour and not have the big-time degree.

    For those wondering, my rate is $10 per hour. I rake leaves, shovel snow, cut grass, etc.

  13. Ice Miller has a great scam going. Basically rewording what the university had already acknowledged and sending it in. If IU gets hammered by the NCAA they should ask for an investigation into what exactly Ice Miller did for them.

  14. ice miller has failed in their services. obviously they are part of the old boys club where they all take care of eachother with huge salaries, contract buy outs, etc.

  15. A couple of other interesting notes about that invoice:

    -Ice Miller called Rick Greenspan 6 times. Dortohy Frapwell, head of IU’s general counsel, was called 25 times. Think Dottie enjoyed cleaning up Rick’s mess?

    -Of Mark Jones’ 97 billable hours, at least 16 of those were spent on a plane to and from Seattle. Yeah, IU paid no less than $4,560 for Jones to sit on a plane. That’s just his hourly fee and doesn’t include the $1,244.37 in airfare. Think he was working on IU’s case, and only IU’s case, the entire time he flew, and checked his bags, and waited in security, and sat on the tarmac while waiting to taxi, and waited at baggage claim, and……? Sure, boss, we produce work product every single minute we’re traveling. Right, Korman?

    -While the 3 Ice Miller employees collectively billed IU $141.74 for business meals in Seattle, they also passed along $2,405.04 in catering and banquet room fees from Tony’s Events and Catering. Anybody ever hear about $5 footlongs? You can add chips and a drink for just $1.69 more!

    -The lowest paid Ice Miller employee had the most expensive hotel room in Seattle: C. McCaw $539.10; R. Green Harris $516.72; M. Jones $346.48. Jones must have put Shatner on the case and named his own price, or maybe he listened to that gnome. I assume they all stayed at the Hotel Deca where the hearing was held, why the disparity in room prices?

    -Speaking of which, there’s some great disparities when it comes to the different Ice Miller people performing and billing the same functions. For example: 6/12/08- travel to Seattle and prepare for the hearing McCaw spent 12.5 hrs., Jones spent 13.5 hrs., and Green Harris spent 15.5 hrs.; 6/13/08- on the day of the hearing Green Harris worked 15.8 hrs., McCaw worked 14 hrs., and Jones got by with 9 hrs. of work (slacker!); 7/11/08- round trip to Bloomington for meetings Green Harris 6.8 hrs., Jones 7.6 hrs; and the list goes on and on. I guess if IU gets to use fuzzy math in its attendance reporting, Ice Miller should be able to use the same in its invoicing. To borrow a phrase from Greenspan’s world, it looks like Ice Miller knows how to pad their stats.

    -There were 87 business days (Mon-Fri) from 4/1/08 to 7/31/08. As best as I can tell, Ice Miller billed IU for work done on at least 83 days during this period. Think these guys don’t know which clients will throw vast amounts of money at a problem to make it go away? In this industry, deep wells get visited often.

    -And the one bargain I could find, Green Harris billed $4,960 just for her travel day out to Seattle (airfare and travel expenses not included) but didn’t charge us for her time flying home (although we did pick up the tab on her airfare to Kansas City(?)) (Jones and McCaw cost us $4,147.50 for their time flying home- airfare not included).

    -Rick Greenspan and Ice Miller should be ashamed for asking IU athletics to pick up this ridiculous tab. Where is IU at now in total fees associated with this debacle (severance packages, legal fees, etc.)? Will we ever know the true cost with all the salaried and hourly IU man-hours spent dealing with this mess? Even if we could discern the total cost, would it even compare to the damage already done to our reputation? Very costly, indeed!

  16. Peegs anti, how can you determine Ice Miller failed in their services before we even have any results? You’ve mentioned the ‘old boys club’ so many times in different posts I’ve lost count. What are you afraid of? Basically, anytime someone does something you don’t approve of they are members of the vague and indeterminable good old boys club? Everyone in Indiana who makes 6 figures knows each other I guess.

    Chronic, I agree most that some of the food/catering bills seemed unnecessary. Maybe they were treating the Committee to a nice dinner?

  17. so i guess iu would have been in a worse position had icemiller not conduted their 500k magic? they sure didnt do their homework when we got slapped with a more serious violation

  18. Chris, obviously I’m confused about the timing of the charges. I just remember it being reported that IU was shocked about something regarding the timing of the charges and how they were told not to file a response before a certain date. Together those things made it seem to me that the NCAA was structuring things in a way that made it more difficult for IU to prepare its defense. But, it doesn’t matter at this point; what’s done is done and moving forward in the best way possible is IU’s only viable option. That’s today’s dime-store philosophy lesson; my billable rate is $13.62/hour for a total in this post of $2.41. Should I bill the H-T??

  19. IU is a big time sports operation with millions in revenue. What did you expect–a bill for $300?
    Get over it.

  20. Ice-Miller was in charge of getting Sampson in compliance & monitoring. Now they are getting paid to mediate the results of their incompetence. Who hired Ice-Miller & what are their ties to the IU trustees? Couldn’t IU save hundreds of thousands just by using in-house lawyers? Sounds like a way to funnel taxpayer money to Ice-Miller.

Comments are closed.