Baumruk v. Steele
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that counsel are authorized to bill up to 550 hours for representing petitioner in this matter, and expenses are authorized up to $7,500.00. Signed by District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig on 8/1/13. (JWJ)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
No. 4:12CV804 AGF
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Appointed counsel have submitted a proposed budget for this action. Counsel
seek compensation for 1,400 hours of attorney time, or eight months of full-time work
for one attorney billing forty hours per week. The request is excessive.
Counsel argue that this action is complex because petitioner was tried twice and
there are forty-one banker’s boxes of files to review. Counsel also claim a duty to
review the state court proceedings for any potential ineffective assistance claims under
Martinez v. Ryan, 132 S. Ct. 1309 (2012).
The Court recognizes that counsel have a duty to diligently represent their client.
But counsel must remember that this is a habeas corpus proceeding, and the issues
before the Court are limited to whether the state courts’ decisions were contrary to or
an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law. Counsel are not
obligated to retry every failed issue that was presented to the state courts. Additionally,
counsel are not entitled to full compensation for all of their work. In re Carlyle, 644
F.3d 694 (8th Cir. 2011) (C.J. Riley).
The Court also notes that counsel did not tailor their budget request to the needs
of this case. Counsel have submitted the same excessive budget in at least two other
cases. Budget requests must be tailored to each individual case.
The Court will approve a total of 400 hours for legal research, writing, and
reviewing the record. The Court will approve an additional 150 attorney hours for
interviewing clients, consulting with prior counsel, travel, interviewing witnesses, and
miscellaneous matters. Therefore, the Court approves a total budget of 550 hours or
attorney time and an additional $7,500 in expenses. Counsel must be efficient. The
Court will not modify this order without good cause.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that counsel are authorized to bill up to 550 hours
for representing petitioner in this matter, and expenses are authorized up to $7,500.00.
Dated this 1st day of August, 2013.
AUDREY G. FLEISSIG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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