United States District Court, D. Oregon, Medford Division
ECBLEND, LLC, an Oregon Domestic Limited Liability Company, Plaintiff,
THE MAD ALCHEMIST ELIXIRS & POTIONS, LLC, a Kentucky Limited Liability Company, Defendant.
OPINION & ORDER
MICHAEL McSHANE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff ECBlend, LLC
(“ECBlend”)'s Motion for Attorney Fees and
Costs. ECF No. 26. For the reasons discussed below, the
motion is GRANTED in part.
trademark infringement case was initially filed in August
2017. ECF No. 1. Defendant The Mad Alchemist Elixirs &
Potions LLC (“Mad Alchemist”) did not appear or
defend in this action and, on December 1, 2017, the Court
entered a default judgment in favor of ECBlend. ECF Nos. 16,
17. The relief included an injunction forbidding further
infringing use of the disputed trademark. In March 2018,
ECBlend filed a motion for contempt in which it sought
sanctions for Mad Alchemist's continued infringement of
the disputed trademark. ECF No. 20. Once again, Mad Alchemist
did not appear or respond and, on May 24, 2018, the Court
granted the motion for contempt. ECF No. 24. On June 6, 2018,
ECBlend has submitted a motion in which it seeks an award of
fees and costs for the time spent pursuing its motion for
contempt. ECF No. 26, 27.
contempt proceedings, the prevailing party may be entitled to
its attorney fees and costs. Inst. of Cetacean Research
v. Sea Shepherd Conservation Soc., 774 F.3d 935, 958-59
(9th Cir. 2014). In its prior Order, the Court determined
that ECBlend is entitled to its fees and costs in bringing
its motion for contempt. ECF No. 24.
Ninth Circuit has adopted the “lodestar” method
for calculating attorney fees. Camacho v. Bridgeport
Fin., Inc., 523 F.3d 973, 978 (9th Cir. 2008). That
calculation multiplies a reasonable hourly rate by the number
of hours reasonably expended in the litigation. Hensley
v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983); Pennsylvania
v. Del. Valley Citizens' Council for Clean Air, 478
U.S. 546, 564 (1986). There is a strong presumption that the
lodestar method produces a reasonable figure and should only
be enhanced or reduced in exceptional circumstances. Del.
Valley Citizens, 478 U.S. at 565; Fischer v.
SJB-P.D., Inc., 214 F.3d 1115, 1119 n.4 (9th Cir. 2000).
case, ECBlend seeks $2, 144.00 in attorney fees. This
includes 9.10 hours at $180 per hour for attorney James R.
Blake and 0.60 hours at $260 per hour for attorney Willard L.
Ransom. Blake Decl. Ex. 1. Consistent with the Local Rules
for the District of Oregon, LR 54-3, the Court looks to the
most recent Oregon State Bar Economic Survey to determine
reasonable rates. The most recent survey was issued in 2017
and shows an average hourly rate of $232 for attorneys in
private practice in southern Oregon, with $260 representing
the 75th percentile. On that basis, the Court concludes that
the rates claimed by ECBlend for attorneys Blake and Ransom
are reasonable. With respect the hours claimed, the Court has
reviewed the counsels' billing entries and likewise
concludes that the hours claimed by attorneys Ransom and
Blake were reasonably incurred.
respect to the paralegal fees and hours claimed for work
performed by Debra Daw, the Oregon State Bar Economic Survey
does not include hourly rates for paralegals. Courts within
this District have allowed for the award of paralegal fees
under certain circumstances. See, e.g., Precision Seed
Cleaners v. Country Mut. Ins. Co., 976 F.Supp.2d 1228,
1248-49 (D. Or. 2013). The claimed rate of $100 is
comfortably within the range of paralegal rates awarded by
Oregon federal courts. Id.; see also Muller v.
Country Mut. Ins. Co., No. 3:14-cv-01345-MO, 2017 WL
6209701, at *9 (D. Or. Dec. 8, 2017). Paralegal fees may not,
however, be awarded for secretarial, clerical, or
administrative tasks. Key Bank, N.A. v. Van Noy, 598
F.Supp.2d 1160, 1165-66 (D. Or. 2009). “Costs
associated with clerical tasks are typically considered
overhead expenses in an attorney's hourly billing rate,
and are not properly reimbursable.” Lemus v.
Timberland Apartments, LLC, 876 F.Supp.2d 1169, 1179 (D.
Or. 2012). This includes tasks such as calendaring,
scheduling, and docketing. Id.
Court has reviewed the billing entries for Ms. Daw and notes
that many of the entries are for tasks that are clearly
clerical or administrative in nature. For instance, on March
6, 2018, Ms. Daw billed 0.70 hours for finalizing and mailing
letters to Mad Alchemist, as well calendaring deadlines and
reminders. Blake Decl. Ex. 1, at 1. Such tasks are properly
subsumed within the attorney's hourly rate. Accordingly,
the paralegal hours claimed by Ms. Daw are reduced by 1.60
also seeks an award of costs for serving Mad Alchemist, as
well as for PACER fees. The Court has reviewed these costs
and concludes that they were reasonably incurred in filing
and serving ECBlend's Motion for Contempt. The Court
therefore awards fees in the full requested amount of
reasons set forth above, Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney
Fees and Costs is GRANTED in part. Plaintiff is awarded
attorney and paralegal fees in the amount ...