among the parties as to the documents' location and custody. At the same time we also deemed moot the claims involving the pension fund account at the Bowery Savings Bank, because the issue of the distribution of those funds was resolved during a recess of the January 5, 1982, contempt hearing. Given these findings, we conclude that under the reasoning of Quinter IBT is not eligible to recover attorneys fees for the time itemized in column B.
Finally, IBT's category A itemizes the hours IBT allegedly expended in its successful efforts to gain a court order to compel Bender to repay funds to Local 107. Because IBT succeeded in this discrete portion of its claims, IBT may recover a reasonable fee for the work identified in category A of its fee request.
In fashioning a reasonable award of counsel fees, the Third Circuit has consistently applied the Lindy lodestar approach in a variety of contexts.
See, e.g., In re Fine Paper Antitrust Litigation, 751 F.2d 562 (3d Cir. 1984) (award of fees in common-fund context); Francois v. Francois, 599 F.2d 1286 (3d Cir. 1979) (award of fees in action to rescind separation agreement), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 1021, 62 L. Ed. 2d 653, 100 S. Ct. 679 (1980); Baughman v. Wilson Freight Forwarding Co., 583 F.2d 1208 (3d Cir. 1978) (award of fees pursuant to the Sherman Act); Hughes v. Repko, 578 F.2d 483 (3d Cir. 1978) (award of fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988); Prandini v. National Tea Co., 557 F.2d 1015 (3d Cir. 1977) (award of fees pursuant to Title VII). Because the lodestar method of calculating attorneys fees is used in this wide range of cases and because we can think of no reason why the method should not also apply to the award of fees following a contempt proceeding, we will follow the method here.
In calculating the lodestar value, we consider only, as we have discussed, the column A figures. IBT seeks fees for four different attorneys -- Barry William Levine, George Kaufmann, Leslie J. Ruben, and Judith Schaeffer -- as well as for work done by law clerks and paralegals. Mr. Levine, a partner, seeks fees for 26.25 hours expended on the contempt petition. Mr. Kaufmann, who was a consultant to the law firm before joining it as a partner in January 1981, seeks fees for a total of 13.50 hours, with 11.75 hours billed as a partner.
Ms. Ruben, who became a partner in October 1981, seeks fees for a total of 61.25 hours, with 35.50 hours billed as a partner. Ms. Schaefer, an associate, seeks fees for one hour. There are also claims for 78 hours for work done by law clerks and 19.75 hours for work done by paralegals. The firm seeks an hourly rate of $90 for the partners' hours, $75 for the associates' hours, $30 for the law clerks' hours and $25 for the paralegals' hours.
We find the hourly rates sought by the applicants, for all classifications, to be reasonable in the context of this case. However, we find the combined total of 199.75 hours sought by the applicant for the prosecution of the contempt citation to be excessive and duplicative.
We note that the sole issue on which Bender was found in contempt, the disbursement of $2,968.62 in Local 1 funds, was not included in the original motion for contempt, but was added on the amended motion for adjudication of a civil contempt, filed on October 1, 1981. After a review of the time charges submitted by IBT's counsel, we also note that the amended motion was not discussed until the September 1981 entry, under Mr. Levine's name. Therefore, work done prior to September 1981 is not compensable, since it is not related to the issue on which IBT prevailed. As a consequence, we will disallow all column A hours claimed between May 1980 and September 1981, a total of 74 hours.
We will allow all 6.25 hours claimed by IBT's counsel for September 1981, the month of the drafting of the amended contempt motion.
We will disallow one-half of the time sought for October 1981, because we believe that one hour is an excessive amount of time to draft a simple letter requesting a hearing on a motion.
The hours claimed for December 1981 and January 1982 revolve around the hearing held on January 5, 1982. For December 1981, counsel claims that 5.25 hours were expended scheduling and preparing for the hearing. All but one hour was attributed by counsel to column A matters. We are skeptical about that distribution. First, we conclude that a conference among three partners is not necessary to schedule a hearing, a simple ministerial act. Second, the January 5, 1982, hearing involved seven issues, four of which concerned the pension fund at the Bowery Savings Bank, an issue on which Bender was not found in contempt. Thus, instead of attributing approximately 80 percent of the time spent preparing and arguing the contempt motion at the hearing to the issue on which IBT prevailed, as IBT's bookkeepers have done, we will attribute only 35 percent of the time so spent to the matter on which IBT prevailed. Thus we will allow compensation for only two hours in December 1981. We regard this as a generous allowance of time allocable to the single issue on which IBT prevailed, given the number of other issues and claims.
The January 1982 charges present a similar problem, with one significant addition. Both Mr. Levine and Ms. Ruben attended the hearing. The Third Circuit has already stated, see In Re Fine Paper Antitrust Litigation, 751 F.2d 562 (3d Cir. 1984), that the district court has discretion to compensate only one attorney of a firm for such a hearing, if it finds that the presence of additional counsel was unnecessary. We find that only one attorney was necessary in this simple proceeding. We will thus disallow eight hours attributed to Mr. Levine for January 1982. We will also disallow, in their entirety, the 3.5 hours claimed by Mr. Kauffman as being unnecessary and duplicative. The remaining 45.25 hours attributable to attorneys will be multiplied by.35 to conform them to the distribution of matters in the hearing, resulting in a total of 18 compensable hours. The same shall be done to the 65 hours claimed for work done by law clerks, resulting in a total of 22.75 compensable hours.
The affidavit indicates that in February 1982 three partners spent a total of 5 hours conferring with each other and reviewing a supplemental memo. We will disallow 3 hours of that time as being unnecessary and duplicative for this simple matter.
The total times allowed for attorneys are as follows:
September, 1981 6.25 hours
October, 1981 .50
December, 1981 2.00
January, 1982 18.00
February, 1982 2.00
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