DFS, Airport now squaring-off over legal bills - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DFS, Airport now squaring-off over legal bills

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 2:28 PM Updated:

Legal counsel for DFS and the Airport square off again in superior court - this time, over attorney's fees. Call this a side skirmish in the long running legal battle between the two. They've been at it since 2013 when the airport awarded a ten-year, $154 million master retail concession contract to DFS rival Lotte Duty Free.

But after 30 years as the master concessionaire, DFS not giving up without a fight. There are multiple fronts in this high profile dispute, this particular one heard before Judge Anita Sukola has to do with DFS's access to the airport board's internal communication and documentation. 

DFS local counsel Patrick Civille argues that his firm and California-based co-counsel Gibson and Dunn are entitled to some $260,000 in legal fees for their work in getting a court order to turn over certain minutes of an airport board executive session.  Civille says they successfully proved that the airport violated the sunshine law and the Open Government Act, and as the prevailing side they are entitled to attorney's fees to be paid by GIAA.

But airport attorney Genevieve Rapadas argues DFS is hardly the prevailing party here.  She says they won partial decisions on just two of ten claims for relief, and chose to drop the eight others.  She says GIAA has not turned over a single document as yet, as an appeal of Judge Sukola's 2017 decision on the motion is pending.  She says if the legal fees are awarded, it should be for a much lower amount. 

She contends that the $800-to-$1,200 an hour charges by DFS's L.A.-based counsel are three times the going rate on Guam.  Judge Sukola has taken the matter under advisement. 

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