United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
BIBIJI INDERJIT KAUR PURI; RANBIR SINGH BHAI; KAMALJIT KAUR KOHLI; KULBIR SINGH PURI, Plaintiffs,
SOPURKH KAUR KHALSA; PERAIM KAUR KHALSA; SIRI RAM KAUR KHALSA; KARTAR SINGH KHALSA; KARAM SINGH KHALSA; SIRI KARM KAUR KHALSA; ROY LAMBERT; SCHWABE, WILLIAMSON & WYATT, an Oregon Professional Corporation; LEWIS M. HOROWITZ; LANE POWELL PC, an Oregon Professional Corporation; UNTO INFINITY, LLC, an Oregon Limited Liability Company; SIRI SINGH SAHIB CORPORATION, an Oregon non-profit corporation; GURUDHAN SINGH KHALSA; GURU HARI SINGH KHALSA; AJEET SINGH KHALSA; EWTC MANAGEMENT, LLC; DOES, 1-5, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL W. MOSMAN CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before me on Defendants Unto Infinity, LLC, Siri
Singh Sahib Corporation, Kartar Singh Khalsa, and Sopurkh
Kaur Khalsa's (collectively, “the UI
Defendants”) Motions for Attorney Fees and Costs [438,
441]. For the reasons stated below, I GRANT in part and DENY
in part the Motions.
dispute revolved around the now deceased Siri Singh Sahib
Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, who was known as
Yogi Bhajan. Yogi Bhajan was a Sikh Dharma spiritual leader
who helped promulgate the Sikh religion and Kundalini Yoga in
the United States until his death in 2004. Plaintiffs in this
case are the widow and three children of Yogi Bhajan.
Defendants are various boards, board members, and other
individuals involved in the management of organizations
founded by Yogi Bhajan. Plaintiffs alleged in the operative
Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) that the
individual Defendants conspired to exclude them from
management of some of these boards after Yogi Bhajan's
death on October 6, 2004. SAC  ¶¶ 24-29. They
sought declaratory relief placing them on the boards and
relevant here, Plaintiffs originally alleged a claim against
the UI Defendants under the Oregon Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act (ORICO), O.R.S. § 166.715
et seq. First Amended Complaint (“FAC”)
102; SAC . Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed this claim
in May 2017, and I therefore dismissed the claim with
prejudice. Order . I then granted several motions to
dismiss and a motion for summary judgment, thereby disposing
of all of Plaintiffs' remaining claims. See
Orders [292, 296, 373, 436]. Plaintiffs have appealed some of
these rulings. .
Defendants now seek $28, 918.13 in attorney fees under
ORICO's fees provision, O.R.S. § 166.725(14), and
$46, 164.53 in costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1920 and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d). Motion , Bill of Costs .
Entitlement to attorney fees
law governs whether attorney fees are available in this case.
Northon v. Rule, 637 F.3d 937, 938 (9th Cir. 2011)
(“State laws awarding attorneys' fees are generally
considered to be substantive laws under the Erie
doctrine . . . .”). Under ORICO, a court may award
attorney fees to a prevailing party. Accident Care
Specialists of Portland, Inc. v. Allstate Fire & Cas.
Ins. Co., No. 3:11-CV-01033-MO, 2014 WL 2747632, at *5
(D. Or. June 16, 2014) (citing O.R.S. § 166.725(14)). It
is undisputed that the UI Defendants prevailed on
Plaintiffs' ORICO claim and thus may be awarded
discretionary fees under O.R.S. § 166.725(14).
Whether to award fees according to O.R.S. §
deciding whether to award discretionary fees, I must consider
the following factors outlined in O.R.S. § 20.075(1):
(a) The conduct of the parties in the transactions or
occurrences that gave rise to the litigation, including any
conduct of a party that was reckless, willful, ...