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Ardesson v. Legion Insurance

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

February 19, 1998

JETTA ARDESSON Petitioner
v.
LEGION INSURANCE Respondent/Insurer for MOUNTAIN VIEW CARE CENTER Employer.,

          Submitted: February 12, 1998

          ORDER AWARDING COSTS

          Mike McCarter, Judge.

         Summary: Respondent disputed costs claimed by petitioner after trial, including $51.50 in travel expenses for petitioner's counsel's secretary, preparation of the transcript from the first phase of trial, and cost surrounding a subpoena duces tecum issued to the claims adjuster requiring the original claims file at trial.

         Held: Travel expenses for counsel's secretary is allowed where she was prepared to testify regarding various exhibits to which respondent had objected. Her testimony was not necessary given trial rulings, but that could not have been known to counsel prior to trial. Cost of the transcript is not allowed consistent with a prior WCC ruling that trial transcript costs would not be routinely allowed unless necessary for appeal or where specifically requested by the WCC. Here, the transcript was prepared for counsel's use at the second phase of trial and while that was a convenience to counsel, it is not an allowed cost. The subpoena charge is allowed. Although counsel might have avoided the cost with a phone call to opposing counsel, he was entitled to guarantee that the file be brought through the subpoena process.

         Topics:

Costs: WCC Costs. Respondent disputed costs claimed by petitioner after trial. $51.50 in travel expenses for petitioner's counsel's secretary allowed where she was prepared to testify regarding various exhibits to which respondent had objected. Her testimony was not necessary given trial rulings, but that could not have been known to counsel prior to trial. The cost of preparation of the transcript from the first phase of trial is not allowed consistent with a prior WCC ruling that trial transcript costs would not be routinely allowed unless necessary for appeal or where specifically requested by the WCC. Here, the transcript was prepared for counsel's use at the second phase of trial and while that was a convenience to counsel, it is not an allowed cost. The cost surrounding a subpoena duces tecum issued to the claims adjuster requiring the original claims file at trial is allowed. Although counsel might have avoided the cost with a phone call to opposing counsel, he was entitled to guarantee that the file be brought through the subpoena process.
1 On, January 28, 1998, counsel for the petitioner, Mr. Chris J. Ragar, filed his claim for costs with affidavit in the above-entitled matter. respondent's response to affidavit of costs was received and filed on February 6, 1998 and petitioner's brief in support of motion for costs with attached documentation was received and filed on February 12, 1998.
2 Respondent does not object to various costs in the amount of $273.88. However, the following objections were made:
1) Service of Subpoena/Teri Bohnsack $ 25.00
2) Claims file from Legion Insurance (twice) 168.85
3) Mileage Expense/Stacey Rasnick 51.50
4) Legal Research/State Law Library 7.50
5) Next day delivery postage 19.40
6) Faxes - August and October ...

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