By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on January 18, 2024
An Editorial Opinion
A review of Fulton County Special Prosecutor Nathan J Wade’s invoices to Fani T. Willis evidence a pattern and practice of “padding” his invoices to a public entity client – Fulton County, Georgia.
I have testified as an expert witness on the reasonableness of attorney’s fee petitions in state and federal courts, both as to the rate charged by the petitioning attorney and the number of hours billed.
The most experienced litigation attorneys are entitled to highest billing rates per hour in a particular case. There are court recognized factors that objectively assess the appropriate hourly rate, based upon the lawyer’s objectively measured experience in the case at issue.
Assuming that the objectively measured factors justify a $250 per hour rate for Nathan J. Wade, which they do not, the most troubling entry on his invoices relates to Wade’s claim of that he performed work for 24 hours on November 5, 2021. This entry is highly improbable on its face.
Wade included other time entries that are just as improbable when scrutinized by professionals who have expertise in attorneys’ billings and billing rates.
Wade’s invoices will not likely withstand heightened scrutiny by independent auditors who specialize in attorney's fee matters.
Fani Willis personally signed the District Attorney office's contracts with Wade and approved the payments made to Wade. If they were secret lovers when Wade's invoices were approved for payment, this would be a huge problem for Willis and Wade.
It would be in the best interest of both Willis and Wade for Wade to: (a) invest in hourly billing software, (b) promptly revise all of his invoices and supporting documentation using this software, and (c) promptly resubmit his revised invoices to the District Attorney's office.
Wade should promptly issue the Fulton County Treasurer a financial credit for the “padded” items on his past invoices against future unpaid invoices.
A Fulton County financial official other than Fani T. Willis needs to review Wade’s resubmitted invoices and supporting documentation and resolve this matter.
Finally, Nathan J. Wade should promptly resign his post as special prosecutor. Unfortunately, Wade's personal affairs and marital conduct have now become the focus of the Donald Trump RICO case.
This situation is what I call a "self-inflicted wound."