After Brandy reaches $40,000 settlement with housekeeper, attorneys want their fees covered
When it comes to Brandy Norwood’s legal fees, it’s not something you can expect to be reimbursed for automatically.
But not all attorneys have it so much easier.
“In the vast majority of our cases it will come at their request to be assessed,” says Michael V. Ahern, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who represents clients charged with misdemeanors, felonies and, increasingly, sex crimes.
For Norwood, who now faces a slew of lawsuits filed by a string of former housekeepers, attorneys can ask the court to review and approve the fees, which are often in the range of $50,000 to $75,000.
But even when that happens, it comes with a catch. If the attorney who handled the case does not appeal the decision within 30 days and receives approval for his or her attorney’s fees, then the attorney would be reimbursed from the settlement.
And for a big settlement like the one Norwood reached with the housekeeper, that can be a huge windfall.
“I was not going to pay any legal fees,” Norwood told Page Six in 2012, when she and her then-husband, Norwood, filed their civil suit against housekeeper Elizabeth Haughton.
Instead, she would settle the case, and then later, she “would settle the legal fees,” but no one would reimburse her. “I would have to ask the court to be taken off the case.”
When the NorWoods’ case was settled in July, 2011, her attorneys got $500,000 each. The housekeepers were awarded $200,000. (Norwood was awarded $400,000 and Haughton $200,000.)
In January, 2012, Norwood’s lawyers asked the court for an approval of their fees, which she says are for her representation in the civil case.