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Organic Materials Review. Institute v. Flea Away, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

July 26, 2017

ORGANIC MATERIALS REVIEW. INSTITUTE, an Oregon nonprofit corporation Plaintiff,
v.
FLEA AWAY, INC., a California Corporation; SIMON BOWLES and LILIAN BOWLES, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER RE: ATTORNEY FEES

          Michael McShane, United States District Judge

         Plaintiffs filed this motion for attorneys' fees, ECF No. 16, in the amount of $7, 591.60 pursuant to 15, U.S.C. § 1125(a); Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(2); and LR 54-3; and Bill of Costs, ECF No. 18, in the amount of $1, 372.58.. This Court previously granted plaintiff's motion for entry of default, ECF No. 12, and plaintiff's motion for default judgment, ECF No. 14. Upon review, plaintiffs' motion for attorneys' fees, ECF No. 16, 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). Plaintiffs worked 38.20 hours and seek rates as follows:

Name

Position

Hourly Rate

Frank C. Gibson

Partner

$280

Megan I. Livermore

Associate

$240

Cindy Vance

Legal ass't / legal secretary

$110.00 / $58

Gail Cross

Legal secretary

$58

See Aff. of Frank C. Gibson, ECF No. 17. Upon review, this Court is satisfied that defendants' sought number of attorney hours is reasonable under the circumstances. Likewise, defendants' sought attorney hourly rates are consistent with the Oregon State Bar 2012 Economic Survey[1] 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).[2] 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 bill of costs, ECF No. 16 and 18, are GRANTED. Defendants are awarded attorney fees in the amount of $7, 591.60 and costs in the amount of $1, 372.58.

         IT IS ...


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