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Nicolas Gonzalez v. Southern Wine & Spirits of America

March 29, 2012

NICOLAS GONZALEZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SOUTHERN WINE & SPIRITS OF AMERICA, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Otis D. Wright, II United States District Judge

ORDER RE MOTIONS FOR FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND ATTORNEY'S FEES [26], [27]

Before the Court are Plaintiff's two motions: Motion for Attorney's Fees and Expenses; and, Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement. (Dkt. Nos. 26, 27.) On February 28, 2012, the Court found the class action settlement acceptable with the exception of two terms-the attorney's fee award multiplier and cy pres recipients-and ordered the parties to revise the settlement appropriately. Plaintiff's counsel filed a supplemental memorandum addressing the two issues and seeks the Court's final approval of the settlement. (Dkt. No. 36.) Having considered Plaintiff's papers filed in support of the motions and Defendant's non-opposition, the Court finds as follows.

A.Cy pres recipients

Upon the parties' suggestion, the Court finds the cy pres recipients appropriate for this case and orders the remainder of the settlement to be distributed to the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center and Asian Law Caucus. (Khorrami Decl., Ex. A § 3.8 (Dkt. No. 28); Khorrami Decl. ¶ 12 (Dkt. No. 36-1.))

B.Lodestar calculation

The lodestar method provides a reasonable determination of attorney's fees, and is calculated by multiplying the number of hours reasonably expended on the litigation by the reasonable hourly rate.*fn1 Gracie v. Gracie, 217 F.3d 1060, 1070 (9th Cir. 2000). In its lodestar analysis, Plaintiff's counsel Khorrami, LLP provides the following billing figures for its attorneys as of February 6, 2012:

Name Years out of

Hours

Hourly

Total Fee (Rounded)

Law School

Billed

Rate

Shawn Khorrami 17 22.4 $650 $14,560 Robert J. Drexler, Jr. 28 16.4 $620 $10,168 Launa Adolph 9 218.5 $495 $108,158 Paul Mata 5 245.7 $375 $92,138 Eugene Allen 1 22.1 $300 $6,630

(Khorrami Decl. ¶ 32 (Dkt. No. 28.)) And its staff as of February 6, 2012:

Total Fee (Rounded)

Name Position Hours

Hourly

Billed

Rate

David Cragg Law Clerk 42.0 $170 $7,140 Corina Valderrama Law Clerk 53.0 $170 $9,010 Carol Miller Paralegal ...


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