At $3 million an counting, with 27 new ultimatums on the table, Apple's 'legal monitor' still desperately needs legal monitoring.

Whether or not you believe Apple was guilty of anti-trust abuses during the launch of the iBook store in 2010 or not, the behavior of Judge Denis Cote and her friend and 'anti-trust' monitor continues to conduct himself in a way that should deeply concern every business in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal:

Which brings us to Mr. Bromwich's fees, which now total just under $3 million. Because Judge Cote ordered Apple to pay him and his consultants by the hour instead of working within a fixed budget like normal public servants, he has the personal incentive to prolong and enlarge his assignment.

To take one example of this feather-bedding, for Feb. 17 Mr. Bromwich charged Apple with a block-billing entry that included "review relevant media articles." The same day we published an editorial, "All Along the Apple Watchtower," as well as excerpts from a related appeals-court hearing. When Apple flagged the expense, Mr. Bromwich replied, "We do not charge the time for reading the newspaper except when the WSJ editorials focus specifically on our work."

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals can't rectify this fast enough. And hopefully, at some point, the entire proceedings gets investigated.