Williams v. Packaging Corporation of America

Filing 90

ORDER for Response to Motion for Attorneys Fees. Ordered by Judge Hugh Lawson on 8/28/2009. (nbp)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA VALDOSTA DIVISION : : Plaintiff, : : v. : : PACKAGING CORPORATION OF : AMERICA; and UNITED STEEL, : PAPER AND FORESTRY, RUBBER : MANUFACTURING, ENERGY, : ALLIED INDUSTRIAL AND : SERVICE WORKERS : : INTERNATIONAL UNION, USW (LOCAL 646), : : Defendant. : ______________________________ MATTHEW WILLIAMS, Civil Action No. 7:06-cv-111(HL) ORDER This case has a long and troubled history, one the Court will not rehash in great detail. After summary judgment was granted in its favor, Defendant Packaging Corporation of America filed a motion for attorney's fees. While Plaintiff Matthew W illiams filed what was styled a "Response" to the motion, that document stated simply that "Plaintiff relies on the brief with citation to authorities filed contemporaneously herewith and all documents of record." Plaintiff, however, did not file a brief. On March 20, 2009, the Court entered an order granting Defendant's motion (Doc. 74). The Court reserved ruling on the amount of the fee award. A show cause order was subsequently issued (Doc. 79), ordering Lecora Bowen, Plaintiff's former attorney, to appear to show cause why she should not be held in contempt of court and sanctioned for, among other things, failing to respond to motions, including the attorney's fees motion. After the show cause hearing, the Court entered another order (Doc. 86) reserving ruling on the amount of fees to be awarded to PCA until Plaintiff had the opportunity to consult with new counsel. Plaintiff was given until August 17, 2009 to retain new counsel. On August 14, 2009, attorney Roy W. Copeland entered his appearance as counsel for Plaintiff (Doc. 88). As the Court made clear during the show cause hearing, it has been most displeased with Ms. Bowen's actions and inactions during the course of this case. Ms. Bowen certainly did not protect her client's interests, and Plaintiff is now faced with a request for attorney's fees in the amount of $82,999.50, a substantial sum of money. In the interest of justice, the Court will allow Plaintiff another opportunity to respond to Defendant's motion for attorney fees. If Plaintiff chooses to file another response, he shall do so no later than September 11, 2009. Defendant will then have the opportunity to file a reply as provided by the Local Rules. Even if he declines to file a response, Plaintiff is ordered to submit a complete Financial Affidavit which includes any income earned by either him or his spouse. The Affidavit, which can be found attached to Document 71, shall be notarized and shall bear the seal of the notary public. The Affidavit should be filed no later than September 11, 2009. 2 SO ORDERED, this the 28th day of August, 2009. s/ Hugh Lawson HUGH LAWSON, SENIOR JUDGE mbh 3

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