Loop AI Labs, Inc. v. Gatti et al

Filing 973

ORDER Awarding Sanctions to Almawave USA Inc. re 895 Discovery Letter Brief for Expenses Related to Witness Luca Ferri, 970 , 971 . Signed by Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu on 1/23/2017. (dmrlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/23/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 LOOP AI LABS INC, Case No. 15-cv-00798-HSG (DMR) Plaintiff, 8 v. ORDER AWARDING SANCTIONS TO DEFENDANT ALMAWAVE 9 10 ANNA GATTI, et al., Re: Dkt. No. 895 Defendants. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Defendant Almawave USA, Inc. (“Almawave”) filed a discovery motion seeking sanctions 12 13 related to its witness Luca Ferri, who traveled from Italy to prepare and appear for a deposition 14 noticed by Plaintiff Loop AI, Labs, Inc. (“Loop”). Loop failed to take the deposition. [Docket 15 No. 895.] On January 6, 2017, the court granted the motion in part, ruling that Almawave was 16 entitled to reimbursement by Loop for Ferri’s airfare and hotel accommodations, as well as 17 attorneys’ fees incurred in preparing Ferri and appearing with him for deposition on January 21, 18 2016. [Docket No. 965.] In its motion, Almawave requested a total of $3,691.35 for airfare and 19 hotel accommodations. [Docket No. 895-1 (Wallerstein Decl., Sept. 26, 2016) ¶¶ 4, 6, Exs. A, B.] 20 It also requested $8,639.50 in attorneys’ fees for twelve hours of attorney time to prepare Ferri for 21 deposition and 7.5 hours of attorney time spent waiting at the deposition site with Ferri. Id. at ¶¶ 22 18-20. The court ordered Almawave to submit proof of payment for Ferri’s airfare as well as 23 billing records to support the attorney time spent preparing Ferri and attending the deposition. 24 [Docket No. 965 at 8-9.] Almawave timely submitted the requested evidence. [Docket Nos. 970, 25 971.] 26 Having examined Almawave’s evidence, the court awards Almawave $907.03 for Ferri’s 27 airfare and $2,784.32 for his hotel accommodations. [Docket Nos. 970 (Wallerstein Decl., Jan. 28 13, 2017) Exs. 1 (airfare receipt), 2 (hotel receipt).] 1 As to attorneys’ fees, defense counsel represented that attorneys prepared the witnesses for 2 the jurisdictional depositions scheduled for the week of January 18, 2016 both separately and in 3 groups, and that Ferri participated in group and individual preparation sessions on January 14, 4 2016 through January 17, 2016. [Docket No. 895-1 (Wallerstein Decl., Sept. 26, 2016) ¶¶ 5, 8.] 5 Almawave submitted redacted billing records that showed that its attorneys billed over 150 hours 6 in January 2016 preparing its witnesses for the jurisdictional depositions. Wallerstein Decl., Jan. 7 13, 2017 Ex. 3. It also submitted redacted billing records that show that attorney Kimberly Culp 8 spent 7.5 hours attending the deposition with Ferri on January 21, 2016. [Docket No. 971 (Suppl. 9 Wallerstein Decl., Jan. 13, 2017) ¶ 3 Ex. 1.] Based on this evidence, the court finds that it is reasonable to award Almawave fees for 12 hours of attorney time spent preparing Ferri for 11 deposition, as requested by Almawave. The court also finds that the requested hourly rates for 12 Wallerstein and Culp, $478 and $431, respectively, are reasonable and in line with the prevailing 13 market rates in the San Francisco Bay Area. See Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 886, 895 (1984). The 14 court awards Almawave a total of $5,407 for attorney time spent preparing Ferri for deposition 15 (five hours for Wallerstein and seven hours for Culp). The court also awards Almawave 16 $3,232.50 for the time spent by Culp attending the deposition on January 21, 2016. In total, the 17 court awards Almawave a total of $12,330.85. Plaintiff Loop AI Labs Inc. shall pay this sum to 18 Almawave within fourteen days of the date of this order. OO IT IS S o Judge D D RDERE ______________________________________ Donna M. Ryu United States MagistrateuJudge M. Ry RT 24 nna ER 26 27 28 2 A H 25 R NIA 23 Dated: January 23, 2017 FO 22 IT IS SO ORDERED. LI 21 NO 20 S DISTRICT TE C TA RT U O S 19 UNIT ED United States District Court Northern District of California 10 N D IS T IC T R OF C

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