There are several more acts to play yet. Even if you lose, in many jurisdictions you can ask a jusge to audit the costs for accuracy and reasonable expectation of value.
Alan: I don't comment (or very very little) in your areas, you know, science stuff. Please don't opine on American law -- you are not a lawyer. If AR is being sued by a litigation services provider, I am 99.44% certain that their standard services agreement provides for attorneys' fees and costs.
AR is potentially on the hook for three categories of payments: (1) costs for the actual services or goods rendered by the service provider -- all they have to prove to the judge and/or jury is that they rendered their services or delivered their goods, that they met the required specifications and that AR did not pay -- at that point there is no disputing the "value" of their goods or services (at least 99% of the time). They prove they delivered, that AR did not pay and they win.
(2) the second category is "costs" of the litigation. But costs do not include the attorneys' fees -- they include the filing fee, let's say approximately $500, the costs of hiring a court reporter for both trial and for depositions, the costs of hiring any experts and similar costs. FYI, many civil courts no longer provide a free court reporter and if you want a transcript, whether for daily review (really expensive) or in case you anticipate losing and needing one for appeal, transcripts are not cheap. Transcripts for depositions and a 3 day trial can easily exceed $10K. Judges are not going to adjust actual costs -- you win, you get them.
(3) The big driver though is attorneys' fees -- let's assume that the plaintiff has one partner, one associate and one paralegal working the case, which would be fairly light staffing. I would expect a mid-size law firm partner in Miami to bill out at no less than $700 per hour before trial actually starts and at least $1,000 an hour during trial. Mid-level associate somewhere around $400 an hour and a paralegal around $125 an hour. This sounds as if it is not a terribly complicated collection case -- there should absolutely be no discussion or evidence regarding the widget itself -- I would expect the plaintiff's law firm to have spent no more than 50 partner hours, 150 associate hours and the same for the paralegal. Of course if AR is actively resisting discovery, that means that the partner, et al, get to spend more time preparing routine motions to compel and going to court (although via zoom, it is still court time) arguing these motions and lots of billable time fighting with AR's lawyers. So my estimates might be low. You can see that this gets very expensive very quickly. And yes judges have the right to adjust the number of hours a lawyer can charge, and the rate, but if the rate is the market rate in that area, the judge is unlikely to cut by more than 10%, and if AR has been a jerk about complying with his discovery obligations, judges get pissed off.
American judges really don't cut jury awards when it comes to collection matters -- those are pretty cut and dried. If the provider did their job, they get paid whether you win or lose.
One last note: Florida is a very generous state for individuals who file for bankruptcy -- they make your primary residence essentially off limits to creditors. But IIRC AR has multiple properties in Florida and he can only claim one as his primary residence. And if he tries to shield the other properties from his creditors -- well, the bankruptcy courts frown on that, unless of course you are really wealthy and you have really good lawyers. And I suspect that the caliber of lawyers who could do that for him would want an engagement fee in excess of what is in dispute in the present litigation. And that fee has to be paid before you file bankruptcy. I have been involved in a few cases where the engagement retainer, for individuals, was $500K.