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Douglas Phelps v. Rsi Enterprises

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT PRIORITY SEND CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 27, 2012

DOUGLAS PHELPS
v.
RSI ENTERPRISES, INC.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable John F. Walter, United States District Judge

closed

CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL

Shannon Reilly

Courtroom Deputy

ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFFS:

None

None Present

Court Reporter

ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS:

None

PROCEEDINGS (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF DOUGLAS PHELPS

WITH ATTORNEY'S FEES IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,813.00

On November 22, 2011, Plaintiff Douglas Phelps ("Plaintiff") filed a Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs ("Motion"). On December 12, 2011, RSI Enterprises, Inc. ("Defendant") filed its Opposition. On December 23, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Reply. On January 3, 2012, the Court issued an order granting Plaintiff's Motion, and ordered the parties to meet and confer to resolve any disputes regarding the amount of reasonable attorney's fees that should be awarded to Plaintiff, and submit a joint statement to the Court if they could not resolve their disputes. The parties failed to reach an agreement during the meet and confer process, and on February 20, 2012, they filed their Joint Statement Regarding Plaintiff's Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs ("Joint Report").

Discussion

In this case, the parties were unable to reach any agreements during the meet and confer process, and, therefore, the Court must determine the amount of attorney's fees that should be awarded to Plaintiff. "The most useful starting point for determining the amount of a reasonable fee is the number of hours reasonably expended on the litigation multiplied by a reasonable hourly Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983). This equation is commonly referred to as the "lodestar." See, Welch v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 480 F.3d 942, 945 (9th Cir. 2007). The prevailing rate in the community is indicative of the reasonable hourly rate for purposes of calculating attorney's fees using the lodestar method. Jordan v. Multnomah County, 815 F.2d 1258, 1263 (9th Cir. 1987). The fee applicant has the burden of producing satisfactory evidence, in addition to the affidavits of its counsel, that the requested rates are in line with those prevailing in the community for similar services of lawyers of reasonably comparable skill and reputation. Blum , 465 U.S. 886, 895, n.11 (1984). The fee applicant also "bears the burden of documenting the appropriate hours expended in the litigation and must submit evidence in support of those hours worked." Gates v. Deukmejian, 987 F.2d 1392, 1397 (9th Cir. 1992). "In determining the appropriate lodestar amount, the district court may exclude from the fee request any hours that are 'excessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary.'" Welch, 480 F.3d at 946 Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433). In making its reasonableness determination, the district court has considerable discretion to adjust the lodestar upward or downward on the basis of the twelve factors set forth in Kerr v. Screen Guild Extras, Inc., 526 F.2d 67, 70 (9th Cir. 1975), cert. denied, 425 U.S. 951 (1976), some of which are subsumed into the initial lodestar calculation.*fn1 Morales v. City of San Rafael, 96 F.3d 359, 364 (9th Cir. 1996). In addition, "[i]f opposing counsel cannot come up with specific reasons for reducing the fee request that the district court finds persuasive, it should normally grant the award in full, or with no more than a haircut." Moreno v. City of , 534 F.3d 1106, 1116 (9th Cir. 2008).

In this case, the Court agrees with Defendant's objections set forth in the summary table and declines to award any fees incurred by Teamor on April 6, 2011, June 2, 2011, August 24, 2011, September 12, 2011, and September 20, 2011; by Addy on July 5, 2011, August 26, 2011, and September 22, 2011; and by Adkins on August 26, 2011. The Court overrules the balance of Defendant's objections and awards attorney's fees of $5,813.00. With respect to recovering his costs, Plaintiff shall file an Application to the Clerk of the Court to Tax Costs pursuant to Local Rule

Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that Plaintiff is entitled to recover attorney's fees in the amount of $5,813.00.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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