Based on a story in the Wall Street Journal, March 23, 1994, By Wade Lambert

You may have thought that the escalation auction in class, where your instructor auctioned a $1 bill to the highest bidder, but made the top two bidders pay for it was amusing, but contrived. Could anything like this ever happen in the real world? Listen up!

Ever Hear the One About the Lawyers and the Window Bars

How a $909 Dispute Generated $100,000 in Legal Fees

The story began when New York passed a law requiring window bars for apartments with children under 10. The governing board of a co-op housing unit at 360 W. 36th Street , a converted zipper factory in the garment district, voted to charge the equipment to those residents who needed it, rather than to divide the costs among all residents.

Alec and Suzi Diacou, who lived in a ninth floor loft with a small child, were billed by the co-op for $909, the cost of installing the window bars. They refused to pay.

Under the ownership contract of the co-op apartments, if there was a dispute between the co-op and the unit's owner, the loser would have to reimburse the winner's legal fees.

The co-op board asked its lawyers to look into the matter. The calendar of legal procedings recorded in the article is as follows: