United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR
ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS [RE: ECF 33]
LAB SON FREEMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case arises from allegations of breach of a franchise
agreement, trademark infringement, and unfair competition.
See generally Compl. ¶¶ 1, 36-58, ECF 1.
Alan A. Chun (“Defendant”) has failed to appear,
and in July 2019 this Court granted in part and denied in
part Baskin-Robbins and BP IP LLC's (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) Motion for Default Judgment.
See Mot. for Default J., ECF 19; Order Granting in
Part and Denying in Part Pl.'s Mot. for Default J.
(“Prior Order”) 2-3, 16, ECF 29; Order Entering
Permanent Inj. Against Def. Alan Chun (“Order Entering
Inj.”), ECF 30; Judgment, ECF 31. Now before the Court
is Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs
(“Motion”). For the reasons stated below,
Plaintiffs' Motion is GRANTED.
Franchising LLC (“BR”) grants franchises across
the United States. Mot. 2; Compl. ¶¶ 2-3. In doing
so, BR licenses its trademarks to franchisees so that they
can operate under the Baskin-Robbins System. Mot. 2; Compl.
¶¶ 2-3. In July 2017, Defendant entered into a
franchise agreement (the “Agreement”) with
Plaintiffs. Mot. 2-3; Compl. ¶¶ 4, 18- 20, Exh. 1.
Under the Agreement, Defendant agreed to pay all damages,
interests, costs, and expenses upon default. Mot. 3; Compl.
¶ 21, Exh. 1, at § 14.4.4. Eventually Defendant did
default, and Plaintiffs commenced this action in September
2018. Mot. 3; Compl. ¶ 26.
16, 2019, this Court granted in part and denied in part
Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment against Defendant
and entered judgment in Plaintiffs' favor in the amount
of $125, 423.61. Prior Order; Order Entering Inj.; Judgment.
Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), the Court determined
that an award of attorneys' fees and costs was warranted
and instructed Plaintiffs to move for them separately. Prior
before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys'
Fees and Costs, along with supporting documentation. Mot.;
Affidavit of Barry G. Stratford in Support of Plaintiffs'
Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs (“Stratford
Decl.”), ECF 34; Bill of Costs, ECF 35, 36. Plaintiffs
seek a total of $34, 478.25, which includes $33, 620.00 in
attorneys' fees and $858.25 in costs. Mot. 1. Because the
Court already approved an award for fees and costs, the only
issue is whether Plaintiffs' claimed amount is
appropriate. See Prior Order 13-14.
calculating awards for attorneys' fees, courts apply the
“lodestar” method to the facts of each case.
Camacho v. Bridgeport Fin., Inc., 523 F.3d 973, 978
(9th Cir. 2008); see also Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461
U.S. 424, 429 (1983). The lodestar amount is presumptively
reasonable. See Vogel v. Harbor Plaza Center, LLC,
893 F.3d 1152, 1161 (9th Cir. 2018). “The
‘lodestar' is calculated by multiplying the number
of hours the prevailing party reasonably expended on the
litigation by a reasonable hourly rate.” Morales v.
City of San Rafael, 96 F.3d 359, 363 (9th Cir. 1996),
opinion amended on denial of reh'g, 108 F.3d 981
(9th Cir. 1997). Once calculated, the lodestar amount may be
further adjusted based on other factors not already subsumed
in the initial lodestar calculation. Morales, 96
F.3d at 363-64, 363 nn.3-4 (identifying factors) (citing
Kerr v. Screen Guild Extras, Inc., 526 F.2d 67, 70
(9th Cir. 1975), abrogated on other grounds by City of
Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557 (1992)).
Plaintiffs seek $33, 620.00 for attorneys' fees. Mot. 1.
Three attorneys worked for Plaintiffs on this case: (1)
Charles Vincent Maloney (“Maloney”), (2) Barry G.
Stratford (“Stratford”), and (3) Catherine N.
Grech (“Grech”). Stratford Decl. ¶¶ 7a-c.
is a partner with thirty (30) years' experience handling
various complex commercial litigation matters. Stratford
Decl. ¶ 7a. Although he typically bills at over $800 per
hour, for this matter he discounted his rate to $475 per
hour. Stratford Decl. ¶ 9. Maloney spent a total of 2
hours reviewing Stratford's and Grech's work.
See Stratford Decl., Exh. A.
is a counsel with six (6) years' experience doing
business litigation. Stratford Decl. ¶ 7b. He bills at
over $600 per hour, but for this action he also cut his rate
to $475 per hour. Stratford Decl. ¶ 9. Stratford worked
50.4 hours on this matter, spending most of his time drafting
the Motion for Default Judgment and this Motion. See
Stratford Decl., Exh. A.
is an associate with five (5) years' experience,
primarily doing employment law but also handling trademark
infringement work. Stratford Decl. ¶ 7c. Her usual
billing rate is upwards of $550 per hour, but for this matter
she charged $375-$475 per hour. See Stratford Decl.
¶ 9, Exh. A. Grech worked 19.6 hours on the matter,
spending most of her time preparing and filing the Complaint,
conferring with Plaintiffs, and working on the Motion for
Default Judgment. See Stratford Decl., Exh. A.
attorneys' work is summarized in this chart: