Almost $140,000 for 2 weeks work. What happens when a court grants a blank check.

blind justuceby Ben Sutherland

Apple to judge: You and your antitrust monitor are way out of line
[Via Brainstorm Tech: Technology blogs, news and analysis from Fortune Magazine » Apple 2.0]

The $138,432 he charged for his first two weeks on the job is the least of Apple’s objections.

FORTUNE — Michael Bromwich is driving Apple (AAPL) crazy.

This should not come as a surprise. Bromwich, appointed by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote last month to make sure Apple does everything she ordered when she found Apple guilty of conspiring to fix the price of e-books, is an old hand at this kind of thing. A former inspector general, he has supervised high-profile investigations of the DOJ, the FBI and the CIA. He’s got his way of doing things.

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Apple is required to pay whatever this guy asks, it seems.

Bromwich apparently created a consulting firm that hired himself and that gets a 15% administrative fee on top of the wages. He personally gets paid $1100 per hour (with a 15% administration fee tacked on), almost 3 times higher than his previous oversight job (which even then was on the high side for such work).

And, because he is not an expert in anti-trust he gets to hire such consultants. And that guy gets over $1000 an hour plus the associated 15% administrative fee which goes to the consulting firm Bromwich created.

Apple has no say in the payment. The judge approves the cash. And the guy can interview people without a lawyer present (is that even legal)? And then talk to the judge in private. How is that legal?

No oversight at all stinks.

First, it’s a fishing expedition looking for more things that can be brought before a judge.  And before Apple’s competitors.

Considering that Samsung has already illegally seen proprietary information from Apple because of outside lawyers bungling things, this is a likelihood.  And the judge gives this guy the ability to publish anything he comes across, no matter how proprietary or secret, if this guy simply things it serves justice as he see it.

This case was related to ebooks yet now this guy can reveal anything he finds. Anything. And get paid whatever he asks.

Seems a little extreme to me. Apple seems correct to see the judge as acting in collusion here. It certainly presents the appearance of a conflict.