Recently, the Illinois Appellate Court reversed a legal fee award because the lawyers who obtained the award failed to retain copies of their written timesheets after they entered the data into a computer program. Aliano v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 2015 IL App (1st) 143367.
The plaintiff sought recovery under the Consumer Fraud Act alleging that Sears had wrongfully collected sales tax on the entire sale price of certain digital-to-analog converter boxes even though a portion of the price was subsidized by a federal program which provided coupons that were exempt from Illinois sales tax.
Plaintiff was unsuccessful in obtaining class certification and opted to go to trial. At trial, plaintiff prevailed and won a judgment of $3.10. Plaintiff then filed a fee petition seeking $252,402.08 in legal fees. The circuit court conducted a hearing on the petition for legal fees and awarded $157,813.53. Sears appealed. Opinion ¶ 3.