Judge asks Angelos for tobacco hours


A judge has ordered Peter G. Angelos to turn over records of time spent by attorneys in his law firm on Maryland's tobacco case, rejecting the firm's contention that time records are not relevant to the dispute over what legal fee the firm should get.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Clifton J. Gordy said that he would sign an order this week requiring the time records be given to Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. He also said the firm must make a representative available for questioning about the records.

Angelos has demanded that the state pay him 25 percent of Maryland's $4.6 billion tobacco settlement as called for in his 1996 contract. Curran has objected that such a fee would be excessive because the case was settled as part of a national agreement.

The Angelos firm told The Sun last year that its attorneys spent 50,000 hours working on the case. If so, a $1 billion fee would amount to $20,000 an hour, a figure Curran's office described as unreasonable.

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