United States District Court, D. Oregon
STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY, an Illinois corporation, Plaintiff,
DANIEL SELLERS and MELANA SELLERS, husband and wife; CAROLYN DUNCAN, an individual; DAWN FREEDAIN, an individual; THOMAS GRADT, an individual; ASHLEY MEAD, an individual; ANTHONY MOFFAT, an individual; JACOB OLSEN, an individual; JOSH OLSEN; an individual; ZACH BAGGIO, an individual; ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, an Illinois corporation; CSAA FIRE AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, a California corporation; TRUCK INSURANCE EXCHANGE, a California corporation; and COMMONS AT TIMBER CREEK, an Oregon corporation; Defendants.
A. Russo United States Magistrate Judge
State Farm Fire and Casualty Company initiated this
interpleader action against defendants Daniel Sellers, Melana
Sellers, Carolyn Duncan, Dawn Freedain, Thomas Gradt, Ashley
Mead, Anthony Moffat, Jacob Olsen, Josh Olsen, Zach Baggio,
Allstate Insurance Company, CSAA Fire and Casualty Insurance
Company, Truck Insurance Exchange, and Commons at Timber
Creek. The Court subsequently discharged plaintiff from
further liability and determined attorney fees and costs were
warranted, in an amount to be determined.
now moves for an award of attorney fees in the amount of $21,
446.50 and costs in the amount of $1298.80. For the reasons
set forth below, attorney fees and costs are awarded in the
reduced sums of $16, 788.88 and $1, 020.70, respectively.
March 26, 2018, plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court for
interpleader and declaratory relief. That same day, plaintiff
moved to deposit the amount of the underlying insurance
policy proceeds - i.e., $300, 000. On March 28, 2018, the
Court granted plaintiff's motion and ordered that
plaintiff's tendered funds be deposited into the
Court's registry pending final judgment.
April 20, 2018, plaintiff filed a motion for discharge from
further liability and attorney fees. Plaintiff's motion
was unopposed by all defendants. Accordingly, in its August
20, 2018, Findings and Recommendation (“August 2018
F&R”), the Court recommended that plaintiff's
motion be granted and instructed plaintiff to submit a
separate motion for fees and costs under Fed.R.Civ.P. 54. On
September 10, 2018, the Honorable Michael H. Simon adopted
the August 2018 F&R.
September 27, 2018, plaintiff filed the present motion for
attorney fees and costs. This motion is also unopposed by all
to the prevailing party's motion, the court may award
reasonable attorney fees and costs. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d); LR
54. In determining a reasonable attorney fee, the court
employs the lodestar method by first multiplying “the
number of hours the prevailing party reasonably expended on
the litigation by a reasonable hourly rate.”
Morales v. City of San Rafael, 96 F.3d 359, 363 (9th
Cir. 1996) (as amended). The court then considers whether it
is necessary to adjust the presumptively reasonable lodestar
figure in light of the twelve factors articulated in Kerr
v. Screen Guild Extras, Inc., 526 F.2d 67, 70 (9th Cir.
court is required to ensure an award's reasonableness,
irrespective of any opposition from the non-prevailing party.
Gates v. Deukmejian, 987 F.2d 1392, 1400-02 (9th
Cir. 1992); see also Corder v. Gates, 947 F.2d 374,
378 n.3 (9th Cir. 1991) (“the reasonable fee, as
calculated by the district court, may fall short of the
actual fee that the plaintiff's lawyer charges”)
(citation and internal quotations omitted).
“[C]onsiderable discretion [is vested in the court] in
determining what attorney's fee is reasonable.”
Webb v. Ada Cnty., Idaho, 195 F.3d 524, 526-27 (9th
plaintiff's entitlement to fees and costs was previously
determined, the sole issue before the Court is the
reasonableness of the requested rates, hours, and expenses.
Reasonableness of the Requested Rates
employed four Portland, Oregon, attorneys (David Rossmiller,
Guy Thompson, Elissa Boyd, and Kelsey Terry) and one
paralegal (Natosha Chason) on this matter. Rossmiller Decl.
¶ 2 & Ex. 1 (doc. 41). Plaintiff seeks the following
hourly rates: $230 for Rossmiller, who has 20 years of
experience; $210 for Thompson, who has 1 year of experience;