the hours claimed by the Hancock firm were spent on the litigation.
The INS contends that the total number of hours should be reduced by the time that was spent in seeking relief which plaintiff did not obtain. The Hancock firm has already deducted approximately thirty-one thousand dollars for work it did not believe was essential to the results obtained. The United States Supreme Court has made it clear that while there should not be a reduction in claimed fees simply because the district court did not adopt each contention made by the claimant ( Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 435, 76 L. Ed. 2d 40, 103 S. Ct. 1933 (1983)), a district court should exercise equitable discretion to eliminate hours or to reduce the award to account for limited success ( Texas State Teachers Assn. v. Garland Independent School District, 489 U.S. 782, 109 S. Ct. 1486, 1492, 103 L. Ed. 2d 866 (1989)). As stated, plaintiff substantially prevailed on his core claims, but various claims and forms of relief plaintiff sought were denied. The court believes that the correct means to address the issue in this case is not to reduce a specific number of hours, but to adjust the total amount of the award to account for the limited success under paragraph D below.
Defendant also claims that the court should reduce the number of hours because of alleged overstaffing and duplication. Some of the claimed duplication is with Mayock's time as an attorney; however, the court does not believe that this duplication should result in a reduction of the Hancock claim, since no award of attorneys' fees is being made to Mayock. The court also concludes, upon reviewing the Hancock time records, that there was not such overstaffing or duplication within the Hancock firm as to require a reduction in hours. The court therefore concludes that the number of hours requested is reasonable. This results in a lodestar amount of $ 158,372.
The Hancock firm seeks to have this award enhanced by a multiplier of 1.5. Defendant opposes the multiplier and argues for a reduction of the lodestar amount. This requires the court to examine the claims against the twelve Kerr factors. The court has done so, and concludes that the following are the most significant of the factors that are relevant to this case.
1. The result obtained was consistent with plaintiff's core claim. But, as stated, the success was not total. And the success that was obtained was in part as a result of the willingness of defendant to make some adjustments in its FOIA procedures. The court does not believe that the result was so extraordinary as to justify an increase in the lodestar amount for that reason. See Cunningham v. County of Los Angeles, 869 F.2d 427, 434 (9th Cir. 1988), rereported, 879 F.2d 481 (9th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 1035, 107 L. Ed. 2d 773, 110 S. Ct. 757 (1990).
2. Plaintiff argues for an increase because of the risk of not prevailing, relying on Fadhl v. San Francisco, 859 F.2d 649 (9th Cir. 1988). However, the factual record in Fadhl was much different than in this case. And this case was not undertaken by the Hancock firm as a contingent fee case, but was initially assumed on a pro bono basis.
3. The reasonableness of some of the positions taken: by defendant on the merits of the case is also a reason for not increasing the lodestar amount.
4. The court does not believe that the other arguments for upward departure need discussion, and the other Kerr factors do not suggest or require an enhancement of the lodestar amount. The court also notes that the Hancock firm had the assistance of Mayock's own legal work, and that Mayock's time is not being compensated for the reasons stated above.
The court therefore concludes that plaintiff is to be awarded, as the reasonable attorneys' fees of the Hancock firm, the sum of $ 158,372. Plaintiff is also awarded Hancock's reasonable costs, in the amount of nine thousand five hundred ninety-eight dollars and three cents ($ 9,598.03).
In conclusion, this court would note the unpleasant nature of the task of resolving such requests for attorneys' fees. Both Mayock and the Hancock firm performed a substantial public service in bringing this litigation and pursuing it to a successful conclusion. But not all public benefit can or should be measured in terms of money. Public service is not without its rewards, but those rewards are not all financial.
The court's rulings on these motions are not meant to be a measure of the "worth" or "value" of the services which Mayock and the Hancock firm performed. As with most judicial decisions, this court is constrained by the statute passed by Congress and by the decisions of the appellate courts. Based upon that authority, this court must conclude that Mayock is not entitled to an award of attorneys' fees for his time as a pro se litigant. And the fees that are being awarded to the Hancock firm, while not what the Hancock firm desires, are also in accordance with the requirements of law.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: May 14, 1990.