Edington v. Sammons et al
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 92 Motion for Attorney Fees. Based on the findings of fact and conclusions of law, Plaintiff is entitled to $25,000 in attorney's fees and $2,045.45 in costs from Defendant. Signed by Judge Billy Roy Wilson on 9/25/2014. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
PATRICIA JANE EDINGTON
ALEXANDRA JANE EDINGTON SAMMONS
As set out below, Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs (Doc. No. 92) is
GRANTED in PART and DENIED in PART.
Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees will be reduced for several reasons. First, Plaintiff’s
request for a total of $117,062.00 is too much for a simple contract case. Second, Plaintiff’s
hourly rate of $250 an hour is too high. Third, Plaintiff asserted numerous causes of action -conversion, recission, outrage, fraud, constructive fraud, promissory and equitable estoppel,
breach of trust, breach of fiduciary, relationship, undue influence, duress, interference with
business expectancy and economic relationship -- all of which were dismissed. She was only
successful on the breach of contract claims, and even then, only partially successful, since she
did not recover the full amount requested. Fourth, as counsel points out in his brief, the
excessive hours were the result of a “difficult Plaintiff to deal with . . . . She would call
frequently trying to seek updates and re-hash issues.”1 The extra time spent with a difficult
client shouldn’t be charged to the opposing party. Fifth, the pleadings and arguments were
excessive and repetitious. In light of the above and considering the record as a whole, I believe
that $25,000 is a reasonable attorney fee in this case.
Doc. No. 92-1.
Plaintiff’s seek $2,665.57 in costs. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1920 a court may award costs to
the prevailing party on several specific items listed in the statute. Yet, Plaintiff seeks
reimbursement for several items that are not recoverable under the statute -- for example, process
server ($150);2 postage to process server ($2.70); lawyer’s mileage to and from trial ($210.90);
and postage ($1.52).3 Plaintiff also requests $255.00 for “Copies” but does not mention the
number of pages, page rate, what was copied, or how the copies were “necessarily obtained for
use in the case.”4 This is insufficient for recovery. After subtracting the above requested costs,
Plaintiff is entitled to $2,045.45 in costs.5
Based on the findings of fact and conclusions of law above, Plaintiff is entitled to
$25,000 in attorney’s fees and $2,045.45 in costs from Defendant.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 25th day of September, 2014.
/s/ Billy Roy Wilson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Crues v. KFC Corp., 768 F.2d 230, 234 (8th Cir. 1985) (holding that party could not
“recover $250 for use of a special process server, because 28 U.S.C. § 1920 (1982) contains no
provision for such expenses.”).
Smith v. Tenet healthsystem SL, Inc., 436 F.3d 879, 889 (8th Cir. 2006) (finding that §
1920 does not authorize taxing for postage and delivery expenses).
28 U.S.C. § 1920(4).
This total is from filing fees ($180); court reporters ($1,775.45); and witness fee ($90).
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