MORGANTOWN – Thomas Flaherty and 22 of his employees devoted 1,497 hours to West Virginia University's lawsuit against former football coach Rich Rodriguez, according to an invoice he submitted to the school.

The Charleston firm of Flaherty, Sensabaugh and Bonasso billed $291,740 for legal services and $38,494.78 for expenses, for a total of $330,234.78.

Robert P. Fitzsimmons and son Robert J. Fitzsimmons of Wheeling separately billed $109,577.50, but in a letter with the bill they donated their services and expressed appreciation for the opportunity.

The university's legal team succeeded in obtaining a $4 million contract buyout from Rodriguez.

Jaclyn Bryk of the Flaherty firm worked the hardest, spending 454 hours on the case. At $185 an hour, the firm billed $84,008.50 for her services.

Flaherty worked 293.3 hours at $245 an hour, for a total of $71,858.50.

Jeffrey Wakefield worked 291.7 hours at $240 an hour, for a total of $70,008. Elizabeth Taylor worked 99.9 hours at $175 an hour, for a total of $17,482.50.

Flaherty billed smaller amounts for 18 others.

Flaherty ran the case with few frills. One night he slept in a $79 room.

The lawyers loosened up a little on a trip to Detroit for depositions, ordering two beers and two glasses of wine with dinner for six. The tip boosted their bill to $189.52.

Flaherty's bill reflects the university's immediate and intense response to Rodriguez's resignation.

Rodriguez resigned Dec. 17. From Dec. 19 to Dec. 21, Bryk worked almost 12 hours, Flaherty worked more than five, and Wakefield worked five.

Bryk drafted a complaint on Dec. 20.

On Dec. 27, the date the university filed the complaint, the three lawyers together worked more than 13 hours.

When each side deposed the other in April, Wakefield and Flaherty billed about $11,000 in five days.

For depositions in June they billed almost $12,000 in four days.

Their expenses included $800 for mediator Franklin Fragale, who received another $800 from Rodriguez.

"I trust that the parties are reasonably satisfied with the outcome," Fragale wrote on his invoice.

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