Brinker v. Normandin's

Filing 103

Order enforcing prior discovery order; interim order on 86 motion for sanctions. The hearing on 86 the motion is vacated. Signed by Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd on 5/4/16. (hrllc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/4/2016)

Download PDF
E-Filed 5/4/16 1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 ALAN BRINKER, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 v. NORMANDIN'S, et al., Defendants. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Case No. 14-cv-03007-EJD (HRL) ORDER ENFORCING PRIOR DISCOVERY ORDER INTERIM ORDER ON MOTION FOR SANCTIONS Re: Dkt. No. 86 12 On January 22, 2016, the court resolved Discovery Dispute Joint Report 1 (“DDJR 1”) by 13 ordering Defendant Normandin’s to produce certain documents by February 20, 2016. Dkt. No. 14 73. Plaintiff Alan Brinker (“Brinker”) asserts that Normandin’s failed to produce the documents it 15 was ordered to produce; Brinker therefore filed a motion for enforcement of the discovery order 16 and for sanctions. Dkt. No. 86. Brinker asks that the court order the production of “the overdue 17 documents” within 10 days of the court issuing an enforcement order. Dkt. No. 86 at 5. Brinker 18 also requests that Normandin’s be ordered to pay, as sanctions, $20,725 worth of Brinker’s 19 attorney fees. 20 Normandin’s has filed no response to the motion and the deadline for filing a response has 21 expired. The lack of opposition persuades the undersigned that Normandin’s has violated the 22 court’s order on DDJR 1. Accordingly, the undersigned is persuaded that Normandin’s should be 23 ordered to produce the documents at issue in DDJR 1, to do so in the manner previously ordered 24 by the court when it resolved DDJR 1, and to complete the production of those documents within 25 ten days. See Dkt. No. 73 at 5. 26 The court sees several deficiencies, however, with Brinker’s attorney-fees request. Brinker 27 has the burden to show its requested hourly fee rates are “in line with the prevailing market rate” 28 in this district. See Carson v. Billings Police Department, 470 F.3d 889, 891 (9th Cir. 2006) 1 (citation omitted). The declaration of A. Janay Ferguson (“Ferguson”) supports the requested fee 2 rates merely by stating that Brinker’s lawyers have used “a variety of factors” to set reasonable 3 rates—this provides no details that might permit the court to review whether Brinker’s hourly fee 4 rates are in line with the prevailing market rate in this district. See Dkt. No. 87 at 3. The 5 undersigned also advises Brinker that ordinarily a litigant must prove the “market rate” with other 6 evidence “in addition to” the declaration of an attorney whose own fee rate is at issue. See Blum v. 7 Stenson, 465 U.S. 886, 896 n.11 (1984). Similarly, Ferguson does not describe who did what, and when, with sufficient specificity. 9 Attorney fees should be awarded only for time “reasonably expended on the” case. Camacho v. 10 Bridgeport Financial, Inc., 523 F.3d 973, 978 (9th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). Ferguson’s 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 8 declaration summarizes, for each attorney, the set of tasks for which compensation is requested 12 and the number of hours billed, altogether, for the completion of those tasks. Dkt. No. 87 at 4. 13 This summary does not permit the court to review whether a reasonable amount of time was 14 devoted to any particular task. 15 worked on any given task, the court has no meaningful opportunity to review which particular fees 16 might be compensable due to being “caused” by a preceding violation of the order on DDJR 1. 17 See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(C). The undersigned also notes, as a final concern, that the stated 18 number of hours billed for the work of Adrienne D. McEntee (“McEntee”) is too low to account 19 for the $8,872.50 billed for McEntee’s work, Dkt. No. 87 at 4; it seems likely that Ferguson 20 intended to report whatever number of billed hours would justify McEntee’s total fees, but the 21 undersigned will not act based on a calculation of what Ferguson probably intended to report. 22 23 Likewise, absent information about when Brinker’s lawyers Conclusion The court vacates the hearing on Brinker’s motion. The undersigned is persuaded, due to 24 the lack of opposition, that Normandin’s violated the court’s order on DDJR 1. 25 therefore orders Normandin’s to produce the documents that it was previously ordered to produce 26 and to do so in the manner previously ordered. 27 Normandin’s to comply with this order no later than May 14, 2016. 28 Dkt. No. 73 at 5. The court The court also orders The undersigned, as discussed above, sees several deficiencies in Brinker’s request for 2 1 sanctions. The court therefore defers its ruling on that portion of the motion and orders Brinker to 2 file, no later than May 13, 2016, a statement responsive to the court’s concerns. The statement 3 shall be supported as necessary by additional declarations. Brinker shall also submit the billing 4 records summarized in Ferguson’s declaration. The court, if appropriate, shall set a new hearing 5 on the motion after Brinker submits its statement in response to this order. 6 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: 5/4/16 8 HOWARD R. LLOYD United States Magistrate Judge 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?