Wells v. Gourmet Services Inc. et al (MAG+)
ORDERED that the petition for attorney's fees (Doc. # 170 ) is GRANTED and that Defendants are liable to Plaintiff for an attorney's fee in the amount of $5,400.00, payable on or before January 31, 2017. Failure to timely pay the atto rney's fee may result in the striking of all affirmative defenses (see Doc. # 163 at 4 2) or other appropriate sanctions. Further, upon consideration of Plaintiff's status report (Doc. # 173 ), it is ORDERED that, on or before December 22, 2016, the parties shall file a joint status report, as further set out. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 12/14/2016. (kh, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
GOURMET SERVICES, INC., et al.,
) CASE NO. 2:13-CV-516-WKW
Before the court are the fee petition1 of James E. Long (Doc. # 170) and
Defendants’ objection to the fee petition. (Doc. # 172.) Having reviewed the
petition with its accompanying exhibits, the objection, and the record, the court
concludes that, based on the number of hours2 reasonably expended by Plaintiff’s
attorney in conjunction with the motion to strike and the fee petition, Plaintiff is
entitled to an attorney’s fee in the amount of $5,400.00.3 Cf. Hensley v. Eckerhart,
The court has already determined that Plaintiff is entitled to an attorney’s fee for “the
costs Plaintiff reasonably incurred in filing the motion to strike (Doc. # 151) and Plaintiff’s reply
in support of the motion to strike (Doc. # 155),” as well as any attorney’s fee reasonably incurred
in filing the fee petition. (Doc. # 163; see also Doc. # 171 (denying Defendants’ motion to
reconsider imposition of attorney’s fee)).
Defendants do not contest Plaintiff’s attorney’s rate of $300 per hour.
Plaintiff requested a fee of $6,000.00. The amount awarded reflects a reduction of two
hours of research that were in excess of that which would be reasonable to bill a client for the
work performed. Although those two hours were not reasonably necessary for the work
performed, Plaintiff’s inclusion of those hours in the fee petition is not so “clearly excessive or
beyond what is permitted” as to justify denial of the petition in its entirety or any other sanction.
(Doc. # 163 at 4.)
461 U.S. 424, 433–34 (1983) (“The most useful starting point for determining the
amount of a reasonable fee is the number of hours reasonably expended on the
litigation multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate. . . . The district court . . . should
exclude from this initial fee calculation hours that were not reasonably expended.”
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted)).
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the petition for attorney’s fees (Doc. #
170) is GRANTED and that Defendants are liable to Plaintiff for an attorney’s fee
in the amount of $5,400.00, payable on or before January 31, 2017. Failure to
timely pay the attorney’s fee may result in the striking of all affirmative defenses
(see Doc. # 163 at 4 ¶ 2) or other appropriate sanctions.
Further, upon consideration of Plaintiff’s status report (Doc. # 173), it is
ORDERED that, on or before December 22, 2016, the parties shall file a joint
status report. The report shall include (1) a statement from Plaintiff regarding
whether he continues to be legally prohibited from leaving the country of Dubai
and, if so, a statement as to how long he will continue to be legally prohibited from
leaving the country; and (2) a joint statement as to whether any discovery remains
DONE this 14th day of December, 2016.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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