United States District Court, D. Oregon
A. CRISPIN ASHLEY A. MARTON CRISPIN EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS
ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF
OPINION AND ORDER
J. BROWN UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Cheryl
Aichele's Motion (#91) for Attorney Fees and Motion (#88)
for Costs, Expenses, and Expert Witness Costs. For the
reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS in
part Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney Fees and
AWARDS Plaintiff attorneys' fees of
$176, 907.50 and paralegal fees of
$17, 768.40. The Court also GRANTS
in part Plaintiff's Motion for Costs, Expenses,
and Expert Witness Costs and AWARDS
Plaintiff costs of $16, 097.21.
filed her Complaint in the Multnomah County Circuit Court,
State of Oregon. Plaintiff alleged claims for retaliation in
violation of Title VII, 42, U.S.C. § 2000e-3;
retaliation in violation of Oregon Revised Statutes §
659A.030(1)(f) and § 654.062(5); and whistleblowing
pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes § 659A.199.
November 11, 2016, Defendants Blue Elephant Holdings, Inc.,
and Donald Morse removed Plaintiff's case to this court.
August 7, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion (#31) for Summary
November 13, 2017, the Court issued an Opinion and Order
(#56) in which it granted Defendants' Motion as to
Plaintiff's claims against Morse and dismissed those
claims. The Court, however, denied Defendants' Motion as
to Plaintiff's claims against Blue Elephant.
November 27, 2017, counsel filed a Motion (#57) to Withdraw
as attorneys for Defendants.
December 13, 2017, following notice to Blue Elephant and
providing it with an opportunity to obtain new counsel, the
Court granted counsel's Motion to Withdraw. Order #63.
December 21, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion (#64) to Strike
Blue Elephant's Answer and for Entry of Default against
January 18, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiff's Motion,
struck Blue Elephant's Answer, and entered default
against Blue Elephant. Order #66.
January 31, 2018, Defendant filed a Motion (#69) for Entry of
March 22, 2018, the Court held an evidentiary hearing
regarding Plaintiff's damages at which Plaintiff and an
March 27, 2018, the Court entered Judgment (#84) against Blue
Elephant and awarded Plaintiff $20, 160.00 in economic
damages and $150, 000.00 in noneconomic damages.
April 10, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Motion (#91) for Attorney
Fees and a Bill of Costs (#88). Plaintiff seeks
attorneys' fees and fees for legal assistants and
paralegals in the amount of $202, 926.00 and costs in the
amount of $16, 980.00.
noted, in her Complaint Plaintiff alleged claims for
retaliation in violation of Title VII, 42, U.S.C. §
2000e-3; retaliation in violation of Oregon Revised Statutes
§ 659A.030(1)(f) and § 654.062(5); and
whistleblowing pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes §
Attorneys' Fees, Legal Assistant Fees, and Paralegal
obtained a Judgment against Blue Elephant on March 27, 2018.
Plaintiff now seeks attorneys' fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e-5(k) as to her federal claims and pursuant to
Oregon Revised Statutes § 659A.885(1) and (2) as to her
states the total fee amount of $229, 215.00 was reviewed to
eliminate “excessive, redundant or other unnecessary
time.” This resulted in a reduction of $26, 289.00 or
11.5% of the initial computation of fees. Plaintiff,
therefore, seeks recovery of $202, 926.00 in fees for
attorneys, legal assistants, and paralegals.
though Defendant has not objected to Plaintiff's
requests, the Court has an independent duty to review a
motion for attorneys' fees for reasonableness. Gates
v. Deukmejian, 987 F.2d 1392, 1398 (9th Cir. 1992).
See also Cruz v. Alhambra Sch. Dist., 282 Fed.Appx.
578, 580 (9th Cir. 2008)(The district court has an
"obligation to articulate . . . the reasons for its
findings regarding the propriety of the hours claimed or for
any adjustments it makes either to the prevailing party's
claimed hours or to the lodestar.").