Freitag v. CDC, et al

Filing 672

ORDER setting briefing schedule re: attorneys' fees and costs. Plaintiff to file motion, if any, by 01/14/13. Signed by Judge Thelton E. Henderson on 12/20/12. (tehlc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/20/2012)

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1 2 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 3 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 5 6 DEANNA L. FREITAG, 7 8 9 Plaintiff, v. CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., NO. C00-2278 TEH ORDER SETTING BRIEFING SCHEDULE RE: ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND COSTS Defendants. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 On December 17, 2012, the parties filed a joint statement regarding the status of 14 Plaintiff’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs, as required by the Court’s November 5, 2012 15 order. Plaintiff’s counsel expressed her belief that a referral to a special master was 16 unnecessary because “the amount charged by a special master to resolve any disputes could 17 easily and significantly exceed the amount in controversy,” thus making it “not financially 18 feasible to pursue any request for fees in this matter.” E.g. Joint Statement at 5. The Court 19 finds it unlikely that a special master would charge more than the approximate $56,000 at 20 issue, and counsel’s conclusion is perhaps an indication that she does not believe a special 21 master would award all or any significant part of the amount claimed. 22 In addition, the parties’ meeting and conferring after the Court’s November 5, 2012 23 order appears to have been limited to a single telephone call that “lasted less than five 24 minutes.” Id. at 3. Defendants’ counsel further describes Plaintiff’s counsel as unresponsive 25 to requests for a more meaningful discussion. Id. at 2-3. Notably, Plaintiff’s counsel did not 26 rebut Defendants’ counsel’s description of events. To meet and confer “means to 27 communicate directly and discuss in good faith the issue(s) required under the particular 28 Rule or order.” Civ. L.R. 1-5(n) (emphasis added). It appears that Plaintiff’s counsel failed 1 to do so in this case, which may again reflect counsel’s belief that her request is not entirely 2 reasonable. 3 Nonetheless, and despite this Court’s prior admonitions that it would appoint a special 4 master, the Court is concerned that counsel would be deterred from seeking fees out of fear 5 that she would be ordered to pay more to a special master than she would be awarded. The 6 Court will therefore itself resolve any remaining disputes over fees and costs. Accordingly, 7 with good cause appearing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 8 1. If Plaintiff continues to seek any fees and costs beyond the $276.45 for which 9 payment has already been initiated by Defendants, then she shall file a motion for attorneys’ 11 before January 28, 2013, and Plaintiff’s reply shall be due on or before February 4, 2013. For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 fees and costs on or before January 14, 2013. Defendants’ opposition shall be due on or 12 The matter will then be deemed submitted on the papers without oral argument. 13 2. Any fees and costs not requested by a motion filed by January 14, 2013, shall be 14 deemed as waived. 15 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 18 Dated: 12/20/12 19 THELTON E. HENDERSON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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