UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WESTERN DIVISION (ROYBAL)
April 12, 2012
VAHE MARGARYAN, AN INDIVIDUAL, PLAINTIFF,
PRIMARY FINANCIAL SERVICES, AN ARIZONA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; BISHOP, WHITE, MARSHALL & WEIBEL, P.S., A WASHINGTON PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION; BLEIER & COX, A CALIFORNIA PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION; VIRTUOSO SOURCING GROUP, A COLORADO COMPANY; CARDWORKS SERVICING, LLC, A NEW YORK LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; PRO CONSULTING, A TEXAS COMPANY; THE MOORE LAW GROUP, A CALIFORNIA PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Kronstadt United States District Court Judge
ORDER AND JUDGMENT ON DEFENDANT BISHOP, WHITE, MARSHALL & WEIBEL, PS'S REQUEST FOR REASONABLE ATTORNEY FEES
Date: April 10, 2012 COURTROOM: 750 - 7TH FLOOR LEE SMART P.S. Inc. - Pacific Northwest Law Offices 1800 One Convention Place -- 701 Pike ORDER AND JUDGMENT ON DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR REASONABLE ATTORNEY FEES CV11-8717-JEM 5419376_1.doc
THIS MATTER, having come before the Court on Defendant Bishop, White, Marshall & Weibel, PS's Request for a Request for Reasonable attorney Fees, the Court having reviewed the records and files herein, and specifically:
1. Defendant Bishop, White, Marshall & Weibel, PS's Request for a Request for Reasonable attorney Fees, (ECF No. 40 at 3);
2. The Court's Civil Minutes, wherein the Court instructed as follows:
Defendant requested attorney's fees, but Plaintiff has not had an opportunity to respond to that request. If Plaintiff seeks to oppose the request for attorney's fees, he must do so on or before March 19, 2012. Defendant shall file any reply on or before March 23, 2012. If Plaintiff does not oppose the request, the Court will grant the requested amount in attorney's fees. Otherwise, the Court will decide whether to award attorney's fees based on the written submissions, without oral argument.
(ECF No. 50 at 2).
3. Declaration of Marc Rosenberg in Support of Request for Reasonable Attorney Fees, (ECF No. 51);
And there being no opposition brief having been filed by the Plaintiff, and the Court being fully advised in the premises, it is ORDERED that Defendant Bishop, White, Marshall & Weibel's Request Reasonable Attorney Fees is hereby GRANTED.
1. The Court finds that Plaintiff filed a Complaint, (ECF No. 1), but Plaintiff's counsel failed to file any response to the motion for summary judgment filed by Defendant Bishop, White, Marshall & Weibel, PS's (ECF No. 24). Defendants are therefore entitled to the sanctions provided in local rules L.R. 7-13, L.R. 83-7 and the F.R.Civ.P.
2. Since no reasonable excuse has been provided by Plaintiff's counsel, who has disregarded Court Orders and failed to appear at any scheduled hearing, the Court finds that the failure by Plaintiff's counsel to provide any response to the summary judgment motion, despite proper notice, to be willful, grossly negligent, or reckless, as contemplated by L.R. 83-7(a).
3. The Court also finds that the failure to respond to any of the pending dispositive motions, and failure to appear at any of the scheduled hearings, also rises to the level of bad faith and willful disobedience of a court order, as contemplated by L.R. 83-7(b).
4. L.R. 83-7(c) also provides that the violation of or failure to conform to any of these Local Rules may subject the offending party or counsel to other sanctions that the Court may deem appropriate under the circumstances.
5. The Court therefore awards to Bishop, White, Marshall & Weibel, PS the requested attorney fees set forth in the Declaration of Marc Rosenberg. (ECF No. 51).
6. The Court finds that the hourly attorney fee of $200 per hour sought by counsel Marc Rosenberg is reasonable for the reasons set forth in his declaration. (ECF No. 51 at ¶ 8).
7. It is unchallenged by Plaintiff that work performed by attorney Marc Rosenberg, which equals 27.3 hours, was reasonably expended in obtaining a summary judgment dismissal, including investigating the case in preparation of the motion.
8. The Court therefore finds the $5,460.00 requested by counsel to be reasonable.
9. Bishop, White, Marshall & Weibel, PS has requested that the attorney fees sought in its motion should be awarded against Arshak Bartoumian and his law firm Omnia Legal, Inc., rather than his client, who is likely unaware Mr. Bartoumian disobeyed Rules and Court orders, failed to respond to motions, and then did not appear at the summary judgment hearing. The Court finds this request reasonable, and L.R. 83-7 provides that such awards may be made against a party's counsel.
10. Therefore, the Court hereby awards attorney fees to Bishop, White, Marshall & Weibel, PS, which shall be paid by attorney Arshak Bartoumian and his law firm Omnia Legal, Inc., and judgment is hereby entered jointly and severally against Bartoumian and Omnia Legal, Inc. for payment of these fees.
11. Within 30 days of entry of this Order, Arshak Bartoumian and/or his law firm Omnia Legal, Inc. shall pay $5,460.00 directly to counsel for Bishop, White, Marshall & Weibel, PS using the contact information provided at the top of this Order.
12. Failure to pay the attorney fees hereby ordered within the time permitted by the Court shall result in additional sanctions.
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