US Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has launched an investigation into legal fees earned by a leading New York attorney while acting for a charity that evolved out of 11 September.
McCarthy & Kelly attorney William Kelly earned $148,000 (£80,700) in 2002 alone from acting for the Bravest Fund, Spitzer’s spokesman told The Lawyer. His final bill is likely to be much higher, with reports in the US putting it at $553,000 (£301,400). The charity, which raises money for police officers and firefighters, has received $73,000 (£39,800).
The Bravest Fund receives revenue from licensing the use of a photograph of three New York firefighters who raised the US flag above the wreckage of the World Trade Centre. The bulk of Kelly’s fees arise from suing anyone who uses the photo without permission and other copyright infringements.
A lawyer at the North Jersey Media Group, which owns the Record Newspaper whose photographer took the photograph, is also “examining Kelly’s legal fees”, added Spitzer’s spokesman.