Malibu Lawyer Wants $560,000 From SMMUSD – Kevin Shenkman Says He Worked 993.1 Hours On Case
Written by 991KBU on February 12, 2020
Malibu attorney Kevin Shenkman is under fire for participating in what many residents consider to be a shakedown … collecting a large legal fee for demanding a change to district elections.
Now … attorneys for parents in the local school district say he is doing the same thing to school kids.
Shenkman filed suit against the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District … claiming that the district illegally charges parents for school supplies.
The district has not admitted guilt … but it proposes a settlement that will refund parents for expenses like expensive calculators, field trips and athletic uniforms.
The settlement also includes a $560,000 request from Shenkman … to be paid by the cash-strapped school district …
Shenkman claims 993.1 hours of work on the case.
More than 250 Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District families have filed an objection to the settlement … according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.
Santa Monica attorneys Joel Koury and Joseph Pertel have children in SMMUSD schools.
They filed a court objection Monday on behalf of 261 district parents, students and community members.
The objection asks the court to reject families’ claims for reimbursements unless they can show receipts for the educational materials they purchased.
The objection also urges the court to audit Shenkman’s stated billable hours and cap any attorney fees awarded at $1 per hour.
Koury told the Santa Monica Daily Press that Shenkman is trying to extract a half a million dollars from the school district.
Shenkman says the half million dollar fee reflects the time and energy that he put into the case and that he will donate a majority of the $560,000 to a scholarship that will fund college tuition for SMMUSD students who have demonstrated a commitment to social and racial justice.
Shenkman had previously proposed donating a majority of his fee to a nonprofit group that improves college readiness for underrepresented students.
But school board rejected that donation because the group employed Shenkman’s mother … according to the Santa Mioncia Daily Press.
Shenkman’s children also attend SMMUSD schools, according to the newspaper.
Shenkman is also trying to collect $13.4 million in legal fees from the City of Santa Monica … on the voting rights lawsuit.
One parent told the Santa Monica Daily Press she was upset to hear Shenkman was behind the school district claim for a half million dollars in legal fees.
“To see this money go disproportionately to a law firm that seems to make a business out of these kinds of lawsuits is very disturbing,” she said.