United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IN PART & DENYING IN PART
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES &
A. MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Attorneys'
Fees and Costs. Having reviewed the parties' briefs, and
for the reasons explained below, the Court awards Plaintiff
$31, 037.50 in attorneys' fees, but denies his request
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
case involves a dispute between Plaintiff Buta Singh and
Defendant Harminder S. Pooni over a 2005 Hummer H2 with a
right-hand drive conversion. Plaintiff brought five state
claims against Defendant Pooni: (1) unlawful conversion; (2)
theft by false pretenses; (3) breach of contract; (4) unfair
business practices; and (5) claim and delivery. First Am.
Compl. (“FAC”), ECF No. 29, at 4-8. Defendant
counterclaimed, suing Plaintiff for (1) breach of contract,
(2) fraud, and (3) breach of the implied covenant of good
faith and fair dealing. Countercl., ECF No. 44, at 7-10.
returned verdicts for Plaintiff on his first, second, and
third claims. ECF No. 110. As for Defendant's
counterclaims, the jury again returned a verdict for
Plaintiff. ECF No. 111.
the publication of the jury verdicts, this Court returned
verdicts for Plaintiff on his fourth and fifth claims and
ordered post-trial briefing on remedies. ECF No. 108.
Plaintiff filed his brief, albeit weeks late. Suppl. Br., ECF
No. 116. Defendant did not file a responsive brief.
also moves for attorneys' fees and costs, see
ECF No. 112, but Defendant opposes. ECF No. 115. Plaintiff
did not file a reply.
evaluating requests for attorneys' fees, the court begins
by calculating the lodestar amount, which involves
multiplying the number of hours reasonably expended by a
reasonable hourly rate. See Hensley v. Eckerhart,
461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983). A court should exclude from this
initial calculation any “excessive, redundant, or
otherwise unnecessary” hours expended. See id.
following Kerr factors may compel a court to adjust the
(1) the time and labor required; (2) the novelty and the
difficulty of the questions involved; (3) the skill requisite
to perform the legal service properly; (4) the preclusion of
other employment by the attorney due to acceptance of the
case; (5) the customary fee; (6) whether the fee is fixed or
contingent; (7) time limitations imposed by the client or the
circumstances; (8) the amount involved and the results
obtained; (9) the experience, reputation, and ability of the
attorneys; (10) the “undesirability” of the case;
(11) the nature and length of the professional relationship
with the client; and (12) awards in similar cases.
Kerr v. Screen Extras Guild, Inc., 526 F.2d 67, 70
(9th Cir. 1975), abrogated on other grounds by City of
Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557 (1992). These
Kerr factors, however, are often subsumed within the
lodestar amount, so courts must ensure they account for any
potential overlap. See ...