to discuss creating a joint memorandum, just three days before the deadline to file. This left them without ample time, and Plaintiff therefore spent the next three days drafting and revising their pretrial memorandum, whereas Defendant failed to submit one. Plaintiff did not spend an unreasonable amount of time drafting the memorandum and acted reasonably under the circumstances.
Defendant's objections to the litigation expenses are also not compelling. The time spent preparing the motion for summary judgment was well spent. The Plaintiffs' success in obtaining monetary, as well as injunctive relief, justifies their counsel's fees.
The Plaintiffs' fee statement, moreover, clearly explains all of these costs. Not only does the fee statement include exact billing statements from both the Plaintiffs' counsel and the auditors, but also affidavits from an accountant with the firm that conducted the audit, from a lawyer employed by the Plaintiffs' attorneys' firm and by another lawyer in the community to verify the authenticity of these expenses. Also, Plaintiffs precisely illustrate how the hours were used, and why the work was necessary.
Although Defendant refers to various projects that two associates worked on together as unreasonable, there does not seem to be such duplication that would warrant a subtraction to the hours billed. Furthermore, Defendant's unsubstantiated assertions that some of the auditor's work might have been unnecessary are clearly disproved by the affidavits that the Plaintiffs have submitted. Plaintiffs' precise explanations in their fee statement overcome the Defendant's unsupported claims that both the auditor's and Plaintiffs' counsel's bills are excessive because their work was not entirely necessary.
"It is not necessary to know the exact number of minutes spent nor the precise activity to which each hour was devoted," although a "fee petition is required to be specific enough to allow the district court" to determine the reasonableness of the expenses and costs. Keenan, 983 F.2d at 473 (quoting Rode, 892 F.2d at 1190). Under this standard, we find that Plaintiffs have met their burden in regard to both the specificity of these expenses and to the reasonableness of their fee statement.
Finally, the other factors to consider do not warrant any adjustments to the lodestar. Plaintiffs' counsel repeatedly attempted to reach a settlement to avoid litigation. They, unlike Defendant, filed a pretrial memorandum that required extra work. Moreover, Plaintiffs were successful in obtaining a summary judgment in their favor. These points validate Plaintiffs' counsel's success, as well as good faith. Therefore, because the rates and hours are reasonable and because all other factors justify full compensation, Plaintiffs' attorney shall be awarded all costs and expenses requested.
An appropriate order follows.
AND NOW, this 15th day of June, 1995, upon consideration of Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's Fees, Auditor's Fees, Costs and Expenses pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(2)(D), and responses thereto, it is hereby ORDERED, for the reasons set forth in the preceding memorandum, that said motion is GRANTED. Plaintiffs are awarded $ 37,963.41, which is comprised of the following reasonable fees and costs: (1) $ 29,672.50 of attorney's fees; (2) $ 5,380 of auditor's fees; and (3) $ 2,910.91 of other costs and expenses.
BY THE COURT:
J. CURTIS JOYNER, J.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.