The lawyers on both sides are laughing themselves silly on the way to the bank.
Lawyers are a common and easy target. However, I've known many, and no good lawyer laughs when their client is faced with increased expense. They are professionals, dealing with what most people would prefer to stay far away from. I look at the latest MTD, the one just mooted, and see a waste of time, running up legal bills for no particular gain, but the choice of whether or not to do this rests with the client, not the lawyer (except in certain extreme situations). Perhaps the client wants the delay and is willing to pay for the lawyer to do it. Perhaps the client sees value in running up the legal bills for his opponent. Something done solely for that purpose would be unethical, but it's hard to prove, so sanctions are not common.
Nobody is forced to hire a lawyer. It's merely highly advisable in certain situations. Such as when negotiating a $100 million contract. Anyone with a knowledge of law reading the Agreement and the Complaint is immediately impressed with how totally naive Rossi was, if he believed what he asserts in the Complaint. Can anyone here imagine that they would spend a year of "hard work" without making sure that the paperwork was done to assure payment? Would you rely on vague promises and assumptions? Rossi is aiming, I think, to play the victim game for a jury. "They fooled me!" Did they also fool your lawyers, Andrea? Those who would actually read the Agreement and understand it?
Lawyers are typically paid by the hour, though they may also work on contingency. The talent and training and effort involved in becoming a lawyer is considerable. Most lawyers expect to do well, financially, just as do professionals in many other professions. As lawyers, though, they only become modestly wealthy, perhaps. "professionally" wealthy. Millionaires, perhaps, not ordinarily billionaires. Lawyers who make fortunes do so by using their skills in other ways, as business-people, typically. Darden has a law degree from Yale.
Rossi made the choice to enter this arena, no lawyer forced him to do it. In dealing with Darden (and Vaughn), he was dealing with professionals, highly skilled. I have no doubt that if Rossi had delivered on the IP, had actually taught them to make devices that passed independent testing, they could easily have raised the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to either bring products to market themselves, or to arrange licensing to others who would have done that. If Rossi is a con, he picked the wrong marks. They gave him every opportunity to make good, but instead he tried to trick them out of more money, and possibly to attempt to coerce them to pay with the lawsuit, imagining that they would be strongly averse to the publicity. He did not understand, then, whom he was dealing with.
(Rossi might still disappear, I wouldn't be surprised if he fled. He is not under any criminal indictment. He is not legally obligated to stick around and to keep his assets in Florida. Or his wife's assets.)
The miracle here is that the experience with Rossi did not sour them on LENR. It looks to me like the risky stand they took with Rossi actually increased their credibility with Woodford. I am assuming, of course, that they fully disclosed the situation to Woodford. As the professionals they are, they would not deceive an investor through material misrepresentations. That's a fast track to civil and sometimes criminal prosecution, whereas ordinary mistakes merely involve losing money.
IH, it now appears, is digging in for the long haul. They don't expect any quick profits, they expect to spend the entire Woodford investment and need to raise more money before they are done. Maybe a lot more money. the project they have undertaken could require billions. My general advice is to be very careful, to fund fundamentals, to establish the most solid basis for the field. It will all, then, become more obvious where to invest.
While lawyers are expensive and Jones Day, being the largest firm in the U.S., with high expertise to bring to a case, is probably particularly expensive -- though, of course, we don't know what they are paying, IH might inspire some pro bono work (I suspect APCO's association with them is pro bono, i.e., personal with McLaughlin) -- these people will also pay, and well, for services. Look at what they were paying Fabiani!
Industrial Heat is now dealing with many inventors and scientists in the field. Nobody is complaining but Rossi. It's obvious.