Kum Tat Limited v. Linden Ox Pasture, LLC

Filing 95

ORDER GRANTING NON-OPPOSED 92 MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL ATTORNEY'S FEES by Judge William H. Orrick. Linden Ox is entitled to recover the $37,584.00 in additional attorneys fees. (jmdS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/6/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 KUM TAT LIMITED, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Case No. 3:14-cv-02857-WHO v. LINDEN OX PASTURE, LLC, Defendant. ORDER GRANTING NON-OPPOSED MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL ATTORNEY'S FEES Re: Dkt. No. 92 12 13 On September 5, 2017, I entered judgment, Dkt. No. 89, following an order granting 14 Linden Ox’s non-opposed motion for summary judgment, Dkt. No. 88. The Order identified 15 Linden Ox as the prevailing party, noted its entitlement to recover attorney’s fees in the amount of 16 $513,821.00 (through April, 2017), and indicated that it could apply for an award of additional 17 attorney’s fees incurred after April, 2017 and before entry of judgment, pursuant to Federal Rule 18 of Civil Procedure 54(d)(2)(B). Order ¶¶ 4–5. The present motion seeks an additional award of 19 attorney’s fees in the amount of $37,584.00. Dkt. No. 92. Kum Tat filed a statement of non- 20 opposition. Dkt. No. 94. I find this matter appropriate for resolution without oral argument and 21 VACATE the October 25, 2017 hearing. Civ. L. R. 7-1(b). 22 Linden Ox is entitled to recover attorney’s fees under California Civil Code section 1717. 23 Cal. Civ. Code § 1717; see also Hsu v. Abbara, 9 Cal. 4th 863, 866 (Cal. 1995)(holding 24 “mutuality of remedy” dictates that a defendant is the “prevailing party” under section 1717 when 25 the defendant proves that no contract was formed). 26 Courts calculate a reasonable award based on the lodestar method. Gates v. 27 Deukmejian, 987 F.2d 1392, 1398 (9th Cir. 1992). Jeffrey L. Fillerup submitted a declaration in 28 support of Linden Ox’s Motion for Additional Attorney’s Fees indicating that he spent 69.9 hours 1 on this case between May and August 2017. Fillerup Decl. ¶ 3 (Dkt. No. 92-1). At his rate of 2 $540/hour, he billed Linden Ox $37,584.00 in attorney’s fees for this period.1 Id. ¶¶ 3–4. “The determination of a reasonable hourly rate ‘involves examining the prevailing market 3 4 rates in the community charged for similar services by lawyers of reasonably comparable skill, 5 experience, and reputation.’” Dropbox, Inc. v. Thru Inc., No. 15-CV-01741-EMC, 2017 WL 6 914273, at *4 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 8, 2017). “The ‘relevant community’ for the purposes of 7 determining the reasonable hourly rate is the district in which the lawsuit proceeds.” Id. Fillerup has over 30 years of experience, see Fillerup Decl. ¶ 1, which puts his rate within 8 9 the realm of reasonable when compared to experienced attorneys in this district. E.g., Rosenfeld v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, No. C-07-3240-EMC, 904 F. Supp. 2d 988, 1002 (N.D. Cal. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 2012)(confirming an attorney with 28 years of experience would command an hourly billed rate 12 between $640 and $875); Californians for Disability Rights, Inc. v. California Dept. of Transp., C 13 06–5125 SBA, 2011 WL 8180376 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 2, 2011)(awarding hourly rate of $730 for 14 attorney with 26 years of experience). Fillerup provided a breakdown of how he spent the 69.9 hours he billed between May and 15 16 August 2017. Fillerup Decl. ¶ 3. The hours appear to be reasonable. In accordance with the foregoing, Linden Ox is entitled to recover the $37,584.00 in 17 18 additional attorney’s fees. IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 20 Dated: October 6, 2017 21 22 William H. Orrick United States District Judge 23 24 25 26 27 1 28 To arrive at this figure, Fillerup must have deducted some amount of fees because his rate multiplied by his hours equals $37,746. 2

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