affidavit. She has not offered a factual basis for her claim that the rate Mr. Ewing charges is the market rate, and has not identified other instances in which a civil rights plaintiff's lawyer received an award at an hourly rate of $ 310.
Her reliance on Fanslow is similarly unavailing. Fanslow was a contract action brought by the Connolly Epstein firm to recover unpaid legal bills. The defendants had retained the Connolly Epstein firm to represent them in connection with two pieces of major litigation the court described as "complicated and protracted and involving massive numbers of documents." Id. at *2. In ruling in Connolly Epstein's favor, the court concluded generally that the rates charged by Connolly Epstein attorneys, none higher than $ 295 per hour, were commensurate with the prevailing market rate in Philadelphia. By contrast, the instant action was far less complex, as it involved one plaintiff and a number of related claims arising from a core set of basic facts. Moreover, no dispositive motions were filed; and the case ran its course--from the filing of the complaint until verdict--in less than a year's time. Thus, the Fanslow case does nothing to assist us in determining the market rate for attorneys of Mr. Ewing's experience who represent plaintiffs in civil rights cases.
The University calls our attention to the Third Circuit's recent opinion in Griffiths v. CIGNA Corp., 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 3265, Nos. 94-2090 and 94-2091 (3d Cir. Jan. 30, 1996),
a case in which the plaintiff sought compensation for the services of Alan B. Epstein, Esquire, a premier plaintiff's employment discrimination lawyer in Philadelphia. In support of his fee application, the plaintiff submitted affidavits of three attorneys in the Philadelphia area who represent plaintiffs in civil rights litigation. These affiants averred that $ 250 was a reasonable hourly rate, within the range of prevailing rates for top-flight plaintiff's civil rights attorneys in the city. Accordingly, since Ms. Schofield has failed to meet her burden of demonstrating that $ 310 is the prevailing rate for attorneys of Mr. Ewing's caliber, and since it appears to us that $ 250 is a reasonable and appropriate hourly rate, Mr. Ewing's time will be reimbursed at a rate of $ 250 per hour.
We therefore compute the lodestar as follows:
Timekeeper Total Time Value
Ms. Weinstein 894.8 hours $ 114,965
Mr. Ewing 318.2 hours $ 79,550
Mr. Myers 7.1 hours $ 1,420
Others 241.3 hours $ 18,700.50
LODESTAR $ 214,635.50
... C. Lodestar Adjustment
As we noted above, the district court is empowered with the discretion to adjust the lodestar in light of the result obtained. In a case such as this, where the plaintiff's claims were interrelated, the question we must ask to complete our analysis is: "did the plaintiff achieve a level of success that makes the hours reasonably expended a satisfactory basis for making a fee award?" Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434. The clear answer here is no. In the present case, a review of the claims brought, the damages sought, and the verdict rendered reveals that the plaintiff has achieved only a limited success. After a two-week trial, Ms. Schofield was unable to convince the jury that she was entitled to front and back pay damages, to compensatory damages regarding medical expenses, or to punitive damages. The $ 40,000 in compensation for pain and suffering is therefore a relatively negligible award when viewed in the context of the entire litigation and the quantity of attorney-hours generated as a result of its breadth. Moreover, we note that this was a straightforward case, devoid of legal or factual complexity. The result neither affected public policy issues nor benefitted anyone other than the plaintiff. Under such circumstances, an attorney's fee award greater than five times the size of the verdict is not reasonable; and a substantial downward adjustment is warranted. Rainey, 832 F. Supp. at 131-32. Accordingly, we will reduce the lodestar by two-thirds, yielding a figure of $ 71,545.16.
D. Costs and Expenses
Finally, the University contests a number of the expenses claimed by the plaintiff. As we noted above, Ms. Schofield submitted a claim for expenses totalling $ 25,085.59, which includes the expenses incurred by Mr. Myers. The University argues that a number of the expenses are unreasonable, and that the figure claimed by the plaintiff should be reduced by $ 4,111.50. The plaintiff concedes that the University's objections regarding $ 788.41 worth of expenses are meritorious, and agrees to reduce her claim by that amount, but argues that the remaining expenditures were reasonable. Upon review of the remaining objections, we conclude that they are without merit. Accordingly, costs will be awarded in the amount of $ 24,297.18.
For the reasons stated above, we will award Ms. Schofield the total amount of $ 95,836.34, representing $ 71,545.16 in attorney's fees and $ 24,297.18 in costs and expenses. An appropriate order follows.
AND NOW, this day 11th of March, 1996, upon consideration of Plaintiff's Motion for the Payment of Her Attorney Fees and Expenses, and the Response thereto, it is hereby ORDERED that said Motion is GRANTED. Defendant shall, within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order, pay to Plaintiff attorney's fees in the amount $ 71,545.16 and costs and expenses in the amount of $ 24,297.18.
BY THE COURT:
J. Curtis Joyner, J.