Unite Here! Local 19 v. Sutter's Place, Inc.

Filing 44

ORDER granting attorneys' fees. Signed by Judge Whyte on 11/11/2011. (rmwlc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/11/2011)

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1 2 3 4 E-FILED on 11/11/2011 5 6 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 SAN JOSE DIVISION 11 12 UNITE HERE! LOCAL 19, 13 No. C 11-02608 RMW Plaintiff, ORDER GRANTING ATTORNEYS' FEES 14 v. 15 SUTTER'S PLACE, INC., dba BAY 101, 16 Defendant. [Re Docket Nos. 7, 9, 34] 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 On August 26, 2011, the court granted plaintiff Unite Here! Local 19's ("Local 19") motion to confirm the arbitration award and compel arbitration of disputed issues and for reasonable attorneys' fees incurred in bringing the issue regarding implementation of the award before the arbitrator. The court requested that Local 19 revise its fee request to provide information regarding the specific services rendered, the dates on which they were rendered, and the hourly rates charged so that the court could determine whether the amount requested is reasonable and limited to the petition before this court. Although defendant continues to object that Local 19 has not provided 25 detailed time records, the court find that the Exhibit D has provided the requisite clarity. 26 Defendant also objects that plaintiff has not provided adequate justification for the hourly 27 28 rates requested, and in particular has not justified the requested hourly rate of $395 for Jannah Manansala, a fourth year associate who generated the vast majority of fees in this case. Plaintiff ORDER GRANTING ATTORNEYS' FEES—No. C 11-02608 RMW MEC 1 asserts that hourly rate is within the range of rates for attorneys and paralegals with comparable 2 experience in labor and employment litigation and to a previous state court determination that $285 3 was a reasonable hourly rate for Ms. Manansala in 2009. Plaintiff also cites the Laffey Matrix to 4 support the requested hourly rate. Defendant is correct that the court must use the rate prevailing in 5 the community for similar work performed by attorneys of comparable skill, experience, and 6 reputation, and not the Laffey Matrix. See Perez v. Cozen & O'Connor Group Long Term Disability 7 Coverage, 2007 WL 2142292, at *2 (S.D. Cal. 2007). The court finds that a reasonable hourly rate 8 for Ms. Manasala is $350. The other requested rates are reasonable. 9 Defendant also objects to a number of specific time entries, including time spent to meet and United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 confer regarding service of the petition, time spent reviewing local rules, time spent on an 11 administrative motion to determine if case should be related, travel time, and time for submitting the 12 clarifying declaration concerning fees and costs. The court will not reduce the fee award based on 13 these objections because the time spent appears have been reasonable. 14 For the foregoing reasons, the court award Local 19 $18,610 in attorneys' fees. 15 16 17 18 19 20 DATED: 11/11/2011 RONALD M. WHYTE United States District Judge 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER GRANTING ATTORNEYS' FEES—No. C 11-02608 RMW MEC 2

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