Neal v. Calloway et al (INMATE 2)
OPINION AND ORDER: it is ORDERED that plf Dion Neal's 80 motion for approval of attorneys' fees is granted, and that Honorable Joel T. Caldwell's fee of $32,000.00 is approved. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 1/10/2017. (wcl, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION
DION MARIO NEAL,
LEON BOLLING, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
OPINION AND ORDER
§ 1983, plaintiff Dion Mario Neal charged defendants,
Facility, with subjecting him to excessive force and
failing to protect him from that force in violation of
the Eighth Amendment and with invading his privacy when
He also brought claims under state law for
supervision or retention of the subordinate defendants
involved in the alleged use of force.
entered judgment, dismissing the case with prejudice.
approval of attorneys’ fees.
After the court appointed attorney Joel T. Caldwell
contingency-fee arrangement such that Caldwell would be
entitled to 40 % of any recovery.
Under the agreement,
Caldwell’s share of the $ 80,000.00 recovery equates to
As Caldwell worked 129 hours on the case,
this equates to an hourly rate of $ 248.06.
reasons that follow, Caldwell’s fee will be approved.
The court determines reasonable attorneys’ fees by
determining the “lodestar” figure, which is the product
of the number of hours reasonably expended to prosecute
the lawsuit and the reasonable hourly rate for work
court then evaluates whether any portion of this fee
Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433-34 (1983).
In making the
above calculations, the court follows the 12 factors
set out in Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express, Inc.,
488 F.2d 714, 717-19 (5th Cir. 1974).*
are (1) the time and labor required; (2) the novelty
and difficulty of the questions; (3) the skill required
preclusion of other employment by the attorney due to
acceptance of the case; (5) the customary fee in the
community; (6) whether the fee is fixed or contingent;
circumstances; (8) the amount involved and the results
obtained; (9) the experience, reputation, and ability
case; (11) the nature and length of the professional
* In Bonner v. City of Prichard, Alabama, 661 F.2d
1206, 1209 (11th Cir. 1981) (en banc), the Eleventh
Circuit Court of Appeals adopted as binding precedent
all of the decisions of the former Fifth Circuit handed
down prior to the close of business on September 30,
activities to bring about the settlement in this case,
the court finds that the request for fees for 129 hours
“A reasonable hourly rate is the prevailing market
services by lawyers of reasonably comparable skills,
experience, and reputation.”
Norman v. Hous. Auth. of
rates . . . , the district court may wish to consider
any of the Johnson factors to the extent that ... they
may affect the weight to be given to the comparables
plaintiff’s counsel has provided an affidavit from an
contingency fee of 40 % is customary in a case such as
this one; moreover, the court is itself an expert on
the prevailing contingency rate in the community, and
Id. at 1303.
factors--including the complexity and undesirability of
contingent fee is customary, and the court’s knowledge
of attorneys’ fees in the community--the court finds
comparable to Caldwell.
Because this is a contingency
case, the court has assessed the fee on that basis
rather than an hourly fee basis.
Therefore, the court finds the contingency lodestar
to be $ 32,000.00.
Although there may be circumstances
justifying an upward or downward adjustment from the
loadstar, no adjustments are warranted in this case.
Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434.
The court concludes that
prosecution of Neal’s case.
Neal’s motion for approval of attorneys' fees (doc. no.
80) is granted, and that Honorable Joel T. Caldwell’s
fee of $ 32,000.00 is approved.
DONE, this the 10th day of January, 2017.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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