Daniel Lopez v. Garcia Apartments LLC et al
MINUTES (IN CHAMBERS) Order Re Attorneys' Fees on Remand by Judge Andre Birotte Jr.: On 3/6/2015, the Court granted in part Plaintiffs motion for attorneys' fees and costs, awarding $4,116.50 in fees, and $420 in costs 50 . Plain tiff appealed this order 51 , and the Ninth Circuit issued a memorandum vacating and remanding the decision on 2/10/2017 55 . The Ninth Circuit's judgment tookeffect on 3/6/2017 56 . In accordance with the Ninth Circuit's guidance, the C ourt clarifies that it reduced the lodestar figure by 75% for time and labor, amount involved, and results obtained in the litigation. Excluding the 5% reduction based on Defendants' ability to pay, Plaintiff was entitled to recover a total of $5,145.63 in attorneys' fees. The Court therefore awards an additional $1,029.13 to Plaintiff to account for this difference. Court Reporter: N/A. (gk)
The Court finds that the time and labor required and the amount involved and
the results obtained in this case warrant a substantial reduction in the lodestar
figure. While Lopez received much of what he prayed for in his complaint,
i.e., Defendants’ compliance with ADA regulations and the mandatory
statutory damages, the timing and effort required to obtain those results do not
justify a fee award of the lodestar figure. There is undisputed evidence that
Defendants’ were fully compliant with ADA regulations within 30 days of
being served with Lopez’s complaint, which rendered the ADA claim moot
and at which time Lopez was eligible for his statutory damages award under
the Unruh Act. At that point in the litigation, Lopez’s counsel had incurred
less than 25% of his total attorney’s fees, but he never made a revised and
more reasonable settlement offer, and he did nothing to expedite a resolution
of the case by, for example, filing an early motion for summary judgment.
(Dkt. No. 50 at 6.)
Because Plaintiff had obtained much, if not all, of the relief sought before Plaintiff’s
counsel had incurred 25% of their total fees, the Court found it appropriate to reduce the
lodestar figure by 75% based on the factors of time and labor required, the amount
involved in the litigation, and the results obtained in the case. The Court then discussed
Defendants’ ability to pay and ultimately concluded “[t]he foregoing circumstances justify
an 80% reduction of the lodestar figure, which decreases the attorney’s fee award from
$20,582.50 to $4,116.50.” (Id. at 7.)
In accordance with the Ninth Circuit’s guidance, the Court clarifies that it reduced
the lodestar figure by 75% for time and labor, amount involved, and results obtained in the
litigation. Excluding the 5% reduction based on Defendants’ ability to pay, Plaintiff was
entitled to recover a total of $5,145.63 in attorneys’ fees. The Court therefore awards an
additional $1,029.13 to Plaintiff to account for this difference.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
Initials of Deputy Clerk CB
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