United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR AN AWARD OF
ATTORNEY’S FEES AND LITIGATION EXPENSES(DOC.
K. Oberto.UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Ronald Moore (“Plaintiff) brought this action against
Chase, Inc., d/b/a Slater Shell (“Defendant”),
alleging that Defendant discriminated against him based upon
his disability as prohibited by Title III of the Americans
with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et
seq. (“ADA”) and by state law. (See
generally Docs. 1 (“Complaint”); 30
(“Amended Complaint”).) On March 7, 2016, the
Court granted summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff on his
ADA and state law claims and entered judgment in favor of
Plaintiff. (Docs. 101; 102.) Presently before the Court is
Plaintiff’s motion for $105, 284.84 in attorney’s
fees and costs pursuant to the ADA and state law. (Doc. 110-1
(requesting $97, 974 in attorney’s fees and $7, 310.84
in litigation expenses).)
reviewed the parties’ papers and all supporting
material, the matter was found suitable for decision without
oral argument pursuant to Local Rule 230(g), and the hearing
was vacated. For the following reasons, Plaintiff’s
motion for attorney’s fees and costs is GRANTED IN
ADA authorizes a court to award attorneys’ fees,
litigation expenses, and costs to a prevailing party.”
Lovell v. Chandler, 303 F.3d 1039, 1058 (9th Cir.
2002); see 42 U.S.C. § 12205; 28 C.F.R. §
35.175. The court may also award attorney’s fees to a
prevailing party in a suit brought under the California
“Unruh Act.” See Cal. Civ. Code §§
determine the amount of a reasonable attorney’s fee,
the court must apply a two-step analysis. Gonzalez v.
City of Maywood, 729 F.3d 1196, 1202 (9th Cir. 2013).
First, the court must determine what constitutes a reasonable
fee using the lodestar method. Id. This lodestar
figure is calculated by multiplying the number of hours
reasonably expended on the litigation by a reasonable hourly
rate. Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433
(1983). There is a “strong presumption” that the
lodestar figure constitutes an appropriate fee award.
United Steelworkers of Am. v. Phelps Dodge Corp.,
896 F.2d 403, 406 (9th Cir. 1990).
the court may then adjust the lodestar figure upward or
downward based on a variety of factors. Gonzalez,
729 F.3d at 1202. In determining the size of an appropriate
fee award, the court need not “achieve auditing
perfection.” Fox v. Vice, 563 U.S. 826, 838
(2011). During either of these steps, the court may use
estimates and take into account its overall sense of the
litigation to determine a reasonable fee. Id.
reasonable hourly rate is determined according to “the
prevailing market rates in the relevant community, ”
Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 866, 895 (1984),
“for similar work performed by attorneys of comparable
skill, experience, and reputation, ” Chalmers v.
City of Los Angeles, 796 F.2d 1205, 1210-11 (9th Cir.
1986). The relevant legal community “is the forum in
which the district court sits.” Prison Legal News
v. Schwarzenegger, 608 F.3d 446, 454 (9th Cir. 2010)
(citation omitted). The relevant community in this case is
the Sacramento Division of the Eastern District of
burden is on the applicant to produce satisfactory evidence
that the requested rate is “in line with those
prevailing in the community for similar services by lawyers
of reasonably comparable skill, experience and
reputation.” Blum, 465 U.S. at 895 n.11;
accord Gonzalez, 729 F.3d at 1206. See also
Nadarajah v. Holder, 569 F.3d 906, 916 (9th Cir. 2009).
“The hourly rate for successful civil rights attorneys
is to be calculated by considering certain factors, including
the novelty and difficulty of the issues, the skill required
to try the case, whether or not the fee is contingent, the
experience held by counsel and fee awards in similar
cases.” Moreno v. City of Sacramento, 534 F.3d
1106, 1114 (9th Cir. 2008). While disability access cases are
a subset of civil rights practice, the reasonable hourly rate
merited in routine disability access cases typically falls
below the hourly rate charged in more complicated civil
rights cases. See Johnson v. Wayside Prop., Inc.,
Civ. No. 2:13-1610 WBS AC, 2014 WL 6634324, at *6 (E.D. Cal.
Nov. 21, 2014).
seeks hourly rates of $300 for Ms. Moore, $115 for Ms. Sacks
and $115 for Ms. Law. (Docs. 110; 116.) Defendant contends
that an hourly rate of $200 for Ms. Moore and $75 for Ms.
Sacks and Ms. Law is appropriate. (Doc. 114, pp. 11-14.)