Widow's lawyers bill $51,000 to McNair estate

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 12:55pm

Seven attorneys from the Nashville office of law firm Adams and Reese LLP have billed the estate of slain NFL quarterback Steve McNair more than $51,000, new court filings show.

The lawyers, who represent widow Mechelle McNair, submitted itemized bills to Davidson County Probate Court on Thursday. David J. Callahan III, a partner at the Adams firm, accounted for most of the total with 188.2 billable hours between July 8 and October 31. Callahan bills his time at $205 an hour.  According to his filing (available at this link), he is seeking a total of almost $42,000 in fees and expenses.

The bills show that Mechelle McNair retained the firm four days after her husband perished on July 4, in what police have ruled a murder-suicide in which Sahel Kazemi shot him to death before taking her own life.

The attorneys have grappled with various issues in administering the estate of the former Tennessee Titans quarterback, valued at almost $20 million. McNair, who apparently left no will, was involved in at least three businesses. The estate has sold his interest in one of those enterprises, the now-shuttered Jefferson Street restaurant Gridiron 9, but only after overcoming objections from co-owners Robert Gaddy and Raymond White.

Other matters the lawyers have handled included a Mississippi woman's claim, since dropped, that McNair was the father of her 17-year-old daughter, as well as reported plans by Ohio's Kings Island theme park to include a portrayal of the murder scene in a Halloween house-of-horrors exhibit.

On September 23, Callahan spent four hours conferring with Mechelle McNair and Kings Island officials about the exhibit, researching Ohio law about rights to publicity and drafting a cease-and-desist letter, his invoices show. Kings Island abandoned its plans the next day.

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