The Federal District Court was asked to rule on reasonableness of the Mr. Sagalow’s fees. In a decision taking into consideration 5 factors (the witness’s area of expertise, education and training, prevailing rates for other comparable experts, nature and complexity of the responses, fees traditional charged by the expert on related matters and cost of living in particular geographic area), the Court held in favor of Mr. Sagalow’s fees ($700/hr), reasoning as follows:
[In this case, counsel representing the party seeking Mr. Sagalow’s expert deposition has argued] that Sagalow’s fees are “unreasonable” and that “Sagalow’s unreasonable fee schedule should be reduced to an amount consistent with the hourly rates charged by other expert witnesses designated in this case… and that his preparation time be limited to ½ of his deposition time”. For a fee to be reasonable, ‘there must be some reasonable relationship between the services rendered and the remuneration to which the expert is entitled.” (Decision at pages 1,2)
Applying the  factors in this case, the court notes that Mr. Sagalow is a graduate of Georgetown University and subsequently received an L.L.M from New York University School of Law. He also practices law and held numerous positions in the insurance industry, such as chief underwriter for two large insurance companies, as well as serving as general counsel for AIG Insurance and National Union Insurance Company.’ (Decision at page 3)
Having applied the factors to this matter, the court holds that Sagalow’s hourly rate is not unreasonable and [opposing party] shall compensate Sagalow at this rate, $700/hr, for the time he actually spends attending the deposition. Furthermore, the courts holds that [opposing party] shall also be liable for Sagalow’s preparation time, if any, provided that such time is reasonable.” (Decision at page 4)
Though Sagalow’s hourly rate was found reasonable under the factors discussed, the court would point out that this is not a case where one party’s expert was billing the opposing part at an inflated rate. Rather [the party retaining Sagalow] has been paying Sagalow $700.00 hourly rate since he was first retained as an expert. Therefore, fairness dictates that [opposing party] should not be allowed to benefit from [retaining party’s] discovery at a discounted price.” (Decision at pages 4-5)
Note: Travel time was not an issue in this case.
For a copy of the full decision, click here.
David a. Sanders
United States District Court
Northern District of Mississippi
September 5, 2015
Just to let you know that last week, for the first time since the inception of this litigation, opposing counsel asked that I submit a demand for settlement…its timing immediately following your deposition is not lost on me!
Mississippi Mid-sized Law Firm
Ty is a true innovator. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from across the (re)insurance sector to design, build and deliver cutting edge new products. His strengths include an immense ability to influence people with different interests to move in the same direction. He demonstrates incredible initiative and strong dedication in all aspects of his work. It was a combination of these skills that enabled him to drive the creation of the Brand Reputation protection policy at Zurich – an industry first.
I have known Ty for over 20 years both as a colleague and a good friend. We have worked side by side on many projects both at AIG and at Zurich. Ty possesses the greatest attributes of a chief underwriting officer, chief innovation officer and general counsel all rolled into one. He is a great leader who has the unique ability to take an idea and translate into reality providing new revenue streams for any company fortunate enough to hire him. He has my highest recommendation.
Ty, I have no doubt your report was instrumental in moving the defendant up in the zone of reasonable settlement. They initiated these discussions [right] after getting your report. Thank-you.
Major International Law Firm
I wanted to let you know I retained Ty Sagalow to act as an expert on the broker malpractice case I am handling. He did a first class report and identified an issue that I had not thought of before. His opinion on that issue could be a game changer in favor of the Firm client. Thank you for recommending him.
I have known Ty Sagalow for 25 years both professionally and personally. He is, by far, the most knowledgeable and creative individual in the insurance industry on reputation risk and reputation insurance. He truly understands brand risk and crisis management and can, and has, taken that understanding to develop extraordinary brand and reputation insurance policies. He is one of a kind.
We are pleased to to report that our firm has concluded that Ty Sagalow was our most helpful expert witness in our successful $8.7 million policyholder victory against the insurer of our client, Illinois Agricultural Association.
Our client sought insurance coverage under a management protection policy for an arbitration award entered in favor of former insurance agents. Defendant insurance company denied coverage, without considering all coverages in the policy.
On summary judgment, the court held that the arbitration award was covered by the policy. The court awarded $7 million, plus interest totaling $8,666,293. Thank-you Ty for your expert services to us and our client.
Fantastic job on your report! I reviewed it early yesterday morning when we were preparing to serve our discovery responses and had no changes or questions. I was really impressed with your thorough analysis of the issues of the case, and you raised some strong arguments that I had not considered or delved deeply into yet. I really appreciate your perspective and work on this matter.
National Carrier Law Firm
For almost 25 years, I have worked closely with Ty. First as a colleague at AIG and Zurich, and currently as a client of Innovation Insurance Group. Put simply, Ty is the best product development expert in the commercial insurance industry.
In addition to being a fine lawyer, he is also, in my opinion, one of the foremost experts in D&O insurance as well as network security insurance, which he largely invented as a product.
At AIG, Ty and I worked together on many high profile D&O deals. When I was President of AIG Small Business, I hired Ty and his team to develop our new products. When I moved to Zurich, I recommended Ty for the new company position of Chief Innovation Officer and today, as President of Navigators Management Company, we have hired Innovation Insurance Group to help with our new product needs in the management and professional liability space. Ty is one of a kind.