and Submitted October 9, 2018 Honolulu, Hawaii
from the United States District Court for the District of
Hawaii Alan C. Kay, District Judge, Presiding D.C. No.
Richard L. Holcomb (argued), Holcomb Law LLC, Honolulu,
Hawaii; Alan Beck, San Diego, California; for
Nicolette Winter (argued) and Curtis E. Sherwood, Deputy
Corporation Counsel, Department of the Corporation Counsel,
Honolulu, Hawaii, for Defendant-Appellee.
Before: Kim McLane Wardlaw, Marsha S. Berzon, and Johnnie B.
Rawlinson, Circuit Judges.
panel vacated the district court's award of
attorney's fees, following the settlement of a civil
rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and
panel held that plaintiff received substantially all of his
requested relief in the settlement agreement. As a result, as
the prevailing party, he was entitled to reasonable
attorney's fees. The panel held that the district court
failed to apply the correct legal standard in determining the
prevailing attorney hourly rate. Specifically, the panel held
that the district court's wholesale rejection of the
relevant attorney declarations submitted by plaintiffs and
the court's singular reliance on the hourly rates
previously awarded to plaintiffs in unrelated cases departed
from the correct legal standard and constituted legal error,
resulting in an abuse of discretion. The panel remanded for
the district court to determine a reasonable hourly rate,
adduced by examining rates for comparable work performed by
attorneys in the relevant community with similar skill,
experience, and reputation.
panel further remanded for the district court to make a
specific finding regarding when the settlement agreement was
sufficiently final for purposes of determining whether
plaintiffs were entitled to compensation for unfiled motions.
RAWLINSON, Circuit Judge
Roberts (Roberts) appeals the district court's award of
attorney's fees to his counsel, Richard Holcomb (Holcomb)
and Alan Beck (Beck), following settlement of a civil rights
action. Specifically, Roberts contends that (1) the district
court applied an erroneous legal standard, and (2) the
district court abused its discretion in denying fees for work
performed before the settlement agreement was finalized.
Because we agree that the district court did not apply the
correct legal standard for awarding legal fees, we vacate and
remand for application of the correct legal standard. We also
remand for the district court to make a specific finding
regarding when the settlement agreement became final.
a permanent resident of the United States, filed a civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
City and County of Honolulu (the City). In his complaint,
Roberts alleged that the City violated his rights under the
Second, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United
States Constitution when it denied Roberts a firearm permit
pursuant to a City policy requiring ...