Famili v. Wells Fargo Bank NA et al
ORDER That Defendants' motion for attorneys' fees (Doc. 35 ) is granted. Defendants are awarded attorneys' fees in the amount of $8,270.00 pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-341.01(A). Signed by Judge David G Campbell on 4/23/2014.(KMG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Wells Fargo Bank NA, et al.,
The Court granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on December 19,
2013. Doc. 33. Defendants now ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees in the amount of
$8,270.00 in connection with this action, and have filed a memorandum in support of the
motion. Doc. 35. Plaintiff has not responded to the motion and Defendants have not
requested oral argument. For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant the motion.
Defendants request fees under A.R.S. § 12-341.01 and section nine of the Deed of
Trust. Doc. 35 at 2; Doc. 1-1 at 40-41. Because Defendants prevailed on a matter arising
out of contract – specifically, the Deed of Trust – a fee award is authorized.
The Court has discretion to award fees under section 12-341.01. Wenk v. Horizon
Moving & Storage Co., 639 P.2d 321, 323 (Ariz. 1982). Because Plaintiff’s position
lacked merit, litigation could have been avoided, Plaintiff has made no showing of
extreme hardship, Defendants prevailed on all points, the issues were not novel, and no
improper deterrence of actions would occur, the Court concludes that an award of
attorneys’ fees is appropriate. See Velarde v. PACE Membership Warehouse, Inc., 105
F.3d 1313, 1319-20 (9th Cir. 1997).
Defendants discuss most of the factors outlined in Schweiger v. China Doll
Restaurant, Inc., 673 P.2d 927, 932 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1983), including (1) the qualities of
the advocate; (2) the work actually performed, including the skill, time and attention
given to the work; and (3) the result. Defendants’ attorney contends that the billing rates
charged were “below market [hourly rates] for attorneys with [his] experience.” Doc. 36
at 2. Defendants’ attorneys have a combined thirty five years of experience litigating in
the area of real estate. Id.
The Court finds the hourly rates charged by Defendants’ legal team to be
reasonable for the Phoenix market and for attorneys of the skill and experience needed
for a case such as this. The Court also finds the time records provided by defense counsel
to be sufficiently detailed, and the hours incurred in defending this case to be reasonable.
Having considered the record as a whole and the relevant fee award factors, see
Associated Indemnity Corporation v. Warner, 694 P.2d 1181, 1184 (Ariz. 1985), the
Court finds the requested fee award to be reasonable and appropriate. See also LRCiv
54.2(c)(3)(A)-(M) (listing factors bearing on the reasonableness of a fee award).
IT IS ORDERED:
That Defendants’ motion for attorneys’ fees (Doc. 35) is granted.
Defendants are awarded attorneys’ fees in the amount of $8,270.00
pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-341.01(A).
Dated this 23rd day of April, 2014.
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