The Nacchio Files: The High Price of "Attorney Underwear"

March 24 2011, 10:30 AM

Long days and nights in federal prison must be conducive to going through line items of billing statements. Joe Nacchio, the former Qwest exec who was convicted of illegally selling millions of dollars in stock, cites a laundry list of concerns, after he was billed by his attorneys for some $25 million for criminal and civil matters, including underwear—"attorney underwear," that is (Bloomberg News). As a result, Nacchio has fired his lawyer, Herbert Stern, and his firm, Stern & Kilcullen, and is now suing them for the equivalent of legal malpractice.

Bloomberg doesn't break down the costs, but notes "tens of thousands of dollars" went toward staff breakfasts, in-room movies during the Denver trial, and the apparently fancy underpants. "S&K was negligent and careless in handling the defense of the criminal action," Nacchio states in his complaint. "Among other things, they were barred by the trial court from calling a critical expert witness by virtue of their blatant failure to comply with basic litigation procedures."