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Vance v. Cuarto LLC

United States District Court, D. Oregon

January 21, 2015

CORBYN VANCE and LOGAN VANCE, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
CUARTO LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, SEPTIMO LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, LBB LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, SEXTO LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, PRIMERO LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, SEGUNDO LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, QUINTO LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, OCTAVO, an Oregon limited liability company, NOVENO, an Oregon limited liability company, collectively all doing business as LITTLE BIG BURGER and MICAH CAMDEN and KATHERINE POPPE, individually, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

MICHAEL J. McSHANE, District Judge.

Defendants filed this motion for attorney fees and costs, ECF No. 36, in the amount of $3, 915.76. This Court previously awarded defendants "attorney fees for costs reasonable incurred by defendants in litigating... inclusion of the website domain name on collective action notices and opt-in forms." Order, Nov. 4, 2014, ECF No. 26. Upon review, defendants' motion for attorney fees and costs, ECF No. 36, is GRANTED.

DISCUSSION

To determine the amount of a reasonable fee, this Court proceeds in two steps. First, this Court applies the lodestar method to determine what constitutes a reasonable attorney fee. See Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983). Second, this Court may "then adjust [the lodestar] upward or downward based on a variety of factors." Gonzalez v. City of Maywood, 729 F.3d 1196, 1202 (9th Cir. 2013) (citations omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted). This Court addresses each step in sequence.

I. Lodestar Computation

"Under the lodestar method, [this Court] multiplies the number of hours the prevailing party reasonably expended on the litigation by a reasonable hourly rate." Id (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). "The number of hours to be compensated is calculated by considering whether, in light of the circumstances, the time could reasonably have been billed to a private client." Moreno v. City of Sacramento, 534 F.3d 1106, 1111 (9th Cir. 2008). To determine the "reasonable hourly rate to use for attorneys and paralegals in computing the lodestar amount[, ]" this Court looks to the "prevailing market rates in the relevant community." Gonzalez, 729 F.3d at 1205 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Defendants seek the following:

Name Hourly Rate Hours Claimed Total Fees Att'y Todd. A. Hanchett $270.6 $162.00 Att'y John B. Dudrey $225 6.0 $1, 350.00

Att'y Edward A. Piper $225 10.4[1] $2, 340.00 Legal Editor Wendy $80.5 $40.00 Wetherbee

See Decl. of John B. Dudrey 1-6, ECF No. 37-1. Upon review, this Court is satisfied that defendants' sought number of attorney hours, 10.4, is reasonable under the circumstances. Likewise, defendants' sought attorney hourly rates are consistent with the Oregon State Bar 2012 Economic Survel[2] in light of each attorneys' "experience, skill, and reputation." Gonzalez, 729 F.3d at 1205-206 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).

II. Lodestar Adjustment

"After making that computation, [this Court] then assess[es] whether it is necessary to adjust the presumptively reasonable lodestar figure on the basis of [the Kerr] factors." Ballen v. City of Portland, 466 F.3d 736, 746 (9th Cir. 2006) (citations omitted).[3] This Court, having reviewed the Kerr factors, declines to further adjust the lodestar computation. See id. ("[O]nly in in rare circumstances should a court adjust the lodestar figure, as this figure is the presumptively accurate measure of reasonable fees." (citations omitted)).

CONCLUSION

For these reasons, defendants' motion for attorney fees and costs, ECF No. 36, is GRANTED. Defendants are awarded attorney fees and costs in the amount of $3, 915.76.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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