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Apantac LLC v. Avitech International Corp.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

September 16, 2014

APANTAC LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
AVITECH INTERNATIONAL CORP. and JYH CHERN GONG, Defendants.

JOHN M. BERMAN, DAMON J. PETTICORD, Tigard, OR, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

FRANK S. HOMSHER, JOHN M. GRAHAM, JOHN J. TOLLEFSEN, Tollefsen Law PLC, Lynnwood, WA, Attorneys for Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

ANNA J. BROWN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Apantac LLC's Motion (#257) for Attorney Fees. In its Motion Plaintiff requests the Court to award to Plaintiff and against Defendants Avitech International Corporation and Jyh Chern Gong (aka Morris Gong) $5, 512.50 in attorneys' fees and $5, 716.25 in expenses incurred by Plaintiff as the result of Defendants' discovery abuses as set out in Findings & Recommendation (F&R) (#244) of Special Master Stephen Joncus.

For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS Apantac's Motion for Attorneys' Fees and AWARDS to Plaintiff attorneys' fees in the amount of $5, 512.50 and expenses in the amount of $5, 716.25. Because there are not any other issues in this case for the Court to resolve, the Court also DISMISSES this matter in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

In its Order (#252) issued June 23, 2014, the Court adopted that part of the Special Master's F&R of in which he recommended this Court "sanction Defendants by requiring them to pay to Apantac the expenses and additional attorneys' fees that Apantac incurred in pursuing discovery as a result of Defendants' discovery abuses." Order at 15.

On July 2, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion (#257) for Attorney Fees. On July 18, 2014, Defendants filed their Opposition (#260) and Response to Plaintiff's Motion.

The Court took Plaintiff's Motion under advisement on July 18, 2014.

STANDARDS

The Ninth Circuit generally has adopted a lodestar/multiplier approach for assessing the amount of reasonable attorneys' fees. Grove v. Wells Fargo Fin. Cal., Inc., 606 F.3d 577, 582 (9th Cir. 2010). The party seeking an award of attorneys' fees bears the burden to produce evidence to support the number of hours worked and the rates claimed. United Steelworkers of Am. v. Retirement Income Plan for Hourly-rated Employees of Asarco, Inc., 512 F.3d 555, 565 (9th Cir. 2008). When "determining the appropriate number of hours to be included in a lodestar calculation, the district court should exclude hours that are excessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary.'" McKown v. City of Fontana, 565 F.3d 1097, 1102 (9th Cir. 2009)(quoting Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 434 (1983)). The "district court has a great deal of discretion in determining the reasonableness" of attorneys' fees. Camacho v. Bridgeport Fin., Inc., 523 F.3d 973, 978 (9th Cir. 2008)(citing Gates v. Deukmejian, 987 F.2d 1392, 1398 (9th Cir. 1992)).

To determine the lodestar amount, the court may consider the following factors:

(1) the time and labor required; (2) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved; (3) the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly; (4) the preclusion of other employment by the attorney due to acceptance of the case; (5) the customary fee; (6) whether the fee is fixed or contingent; (7) time limitations imposed by the client or the circumstances; (8) the amount involved and the results obtained; (9) the experience, reputation, and ability of the attorneys; (10) the "undesirability" of the case; (11) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client; and (12) awards in similar cases.

Fischel v. Equitable Life Assur. Soc'y of U.S., 307 F.3d 997, 1007 n.7 (9th Cir. 2002). "The Court need not consider all... factors, but only those called into question by the case at hand and necessary to support the reasonableness of the fee award." Cairns v. Franklin Mint Co., 292 F.3d 1139, 1158 (9th Cir. 2002)(quoting ...


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