Joseph P. Klock Jr. is director and managing partner of the law firm of Steel Hector & Davis of Miami, Florida. He is also general counsel of Flo-Sun Inc., the country’s largest sugar farming enterprise. (Sugar is a major industry in Florida, second only to citrus in Florida agriculture.) He also has represented a number of companies, government agencies, and Latin American countries.

He was hired by Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris to represent her office in the various legal battles concerning the 2000 US presidential election. His appearance before the Supreme Court was dismal, mostly because he hadn’t bothered to learn their names. First he called Justice John Paul Stevens "Justice Brennan" (Justice William Brennan died in 1990) and followed that up by referring to Justice David H. Souter as Justice Stephen J. Breyer, which caused him to suffer the laughter of the court and humiliation at the hands of Justice Antonin Scalia.

For three weeks of legal work, Steel Hector & Davis billed the state of Florida $682,266. The firm’s lawyers worked for the "discount" rate of $175 an hour, marked down from the typical $250-$500. Klock personally billed for 369.1 hours for a tab of $64,592, plus expenses, including a $9,223 private plane ride from Tallahassee to Washington DC.

No word on how much using some of the many lawyers already employed by the state of Florida would have cost, such as, say, our own Attorney General. Perhaps some of them might have known the names of members of the Supreme Court. Also no word if Klock billed the state for a set of Supreme Court Flash Cards.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.