Little Rock School et al v. Pulaski Cty School et al
ORDER granting 5243 Motion. The State owes JNPSD $13,224 - $13,110 in fees and $114 in undisputed costs. Joshua's 5247 Motion, granted in part and denied in part. The State owes Joshua $6,025. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 10/3/2016. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT,
PULASKI COUNTY SPECIAL
SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al.
LORENE JOSHUA, et al.
1. JNPSD' s motion for fees on the transfer dispute is granted. The State
acknowledges that JNPSD prevailed, but questions the amount of time spent
and the hourly rate, both of which are components under precedent. Hensley
v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433-34 (1983). The amount of time wasn't excessive.
JNPSD rightfully took the lead; and the work done was careful and thorough.
The State is right that the mandatory monthly meeting would have happened
anyway. But there was an opportunity cost-the parties had to focus on the
transfer issue rather than pursuing the pending agenda on facilities, staffing,
and other issues.
The State is not entitled to the benefit of JNPSD's
discounted rate with counsel. Little Rock School District v. Arkansas, 674 F.3d
990, 995-96 (8th Cir. 2012). The rack rate is part of a reasonable fee. And
$300/hour is in line with the hourly rates previously approved for Joshua's
counsel. Little Rock School District, 674 F.3d at 997-99; Ng 5095 at 4-6, 23
2. Joshua's motion for fees is granted in part and denied in part. The
Court respectfully disagrees with the State's argument about Joshua's status
in the transfer dispute. This issue was the camel's nose. As an intervenor of
long standing, Joshua was defending the remedy embodied in the parties'
global settlement in general and in the living parts of Plan 2000 in particular.
That defense was important to the Court in addressing the attempted transfer.
Joshua was a prevailing party for purposes of 42 U.S.C. § 1988. The State is
right, though, that the fee requested is too much. A full and spirited defense
from Joshua did not require three lawyers and a paralegal. One lawyer, with
assistance from a paralegal, would have been sufficient. The Court awards
a reasonable fee of $6,025-$1,000 for ten hours of paralegal time at
$100/hour and $5,025 for fifteen hours of lawyer time at a blended rate of
JNPSD's motion, NQ 5243, granted. The State owes JNPSD $13,224$13,110 in fees and $114 in undisputed costs. Joshua's motion, NQ 5247,
granted in part and denied in part. The State owes Joshua $6,025.
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
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