L.A.-Ontario airport fight means big money for lawyers

Have you ever felt like you’re in the wrong line of work?

It seems lawyers are paid pretty well — at least those hired by the city of Ontario for its quest to gain control of L.A./Ontario International Airport from the city of Los Angeles. Ontario officials say Los Angeles has mismanaged the field. They believe they can do a better job of running the airport to make it an economic engine for the region. And they’re suing to make it happen.

Here are the key lawyers on the case and their hourly billing rates. All work for the firm of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. The information was provided by the city of Ontario in response to a public records request.

  • Andre J. Cronthall, $565 per hour.
  • Roy Goldberg, $565 per hour.
  • Catherine LaTempa, $515 per hour
  • Scott R. Sveslosky, $468 per hour.
  • Sarah A. Kagan, $290 per hour.

The lawyers likely will get plenty of work in the coming months. Ontario Councilman Alan Wapner told my colleague Liset Marquez recently that the city could spend “millions” on the airport fight.

“We knew if we were going to decide to file a lawsuit we were going to have to invest in millions of dollars to save our airport or throw in the towel and lose billions to our economy,” Alan Wapner, president of the Ontario International Airport Authority told Marquez in June.

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