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ORSON, INC. v. MIRAMAX FILM

July 21, 1998

ORSON, INC. d/b/a The Roxy Screening Rooms, Plaintiff,
v.
MIRAMAX FILM, CORP., Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOYNER

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

 JOYNER, J.

 JULY 21, 1998

 Presently before the Court is plaintiff's, Orson, Inc. d/b/a/ The Roxy Screening Rooms ("plaintiff" or "Orson"), Petition for Attorneys' Fees and Costs and defendant's, Miramax, Inc. ("defendant" or "Miramax"), response thereto. For the following reasons, the Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

 BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff filed a three count complaint against defendant on August 2, 1993. Plaintiff-subsequently filed amended complaints ultimately alleging violations of section 1 of the Sherman Act; the Pennsylvania common law against unreasonable restraint of trade; and sections 203-4, 203-7, and 203-8 of the Pennsylvania Feature Motion Picture Fair Business Practices Law, 73 P.S. ┬ž 203-1 et. seq. ("the Pennsylvania Act" or "the Act"). During the course of the proceedings, plaintiff filed a motion for injunctive relief to maintain the status quo pending this litigation, which was denied on November 9, 1993. See Orson v. Miramax Film Corp., 836 F. Supp. 309 (E.D. Pa. 1993). We also denied plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of this denial of injunctive relief. See 1994 WL 7708 (1994). Further, this Court granted Miramax's Motion for Summary Judgment as to Counts I and II and granted partial summary judgment as to Count III of plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. See Orson v. Miramax Film Corp., 862 F. Supp. 1378 (1994). Plaintiff appealed the summary judgment ruling to the Third Circuit, which affirmed the grant of summary judgment as to Counts I and II (the Sherman Act and common law against unreasonable restraint of trade claims), but vacated and remanded as to Count III (the Pennsylvania Act claim). See Orson v. Miramax Film Corp., 79 F.3d 1358 (3d Cir. 1996). At trial, we granted Miramax's Rule 50(a) Motion for plaintiff's claims that Miramax violated sections 203-4 and 203-8 of the Pennsylvania Act. Thus, the jury deliberated and rendered a verdict only as to Miramax's violation of 203-7, the 42-day provision. The jury determined that Miramax violated the statutory provision with regard to seventeen (17) Miramax films and awarded plaintiff damages in the amount of $ 159,780. Miramax subsequently filed a motion for post trial relief, which was denied by the Court on November 3, 1997. See Orson v. Miramax Film Corp., 983 F. Supp. 624.

 Plaintiff's present petition requests an award of attorneys' fees in the amount of $ 711,982.50 (this includes a fee amount of $ 593,319.00 *fn1" multiplied by a 1.2 enhancement percentage) and costs in the amount of $ 72,102.57. *fn2"

 I. Fees

 A. Legal Standard for Awarding Attorneys' Fees

 In a petition for attorneys' fees, the petitioner has the burden of showing that the fees and costs requested are reasonable by producing evidence that supports the hours and costs claimed. See Rode v. Dellarciprete, 892 F.2d 1177, 1183 (3d Cir. 1990); see also Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433, 103 S. Ct. 1933, 76 L. Ed. 2d 40 (1983). The party requesting fees bears the burden of substantiating the hours expended on the litigation and the reasonableness of its requested hourly rate. Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433. The opposing party then has the burden of providing a sufficient basis to contest the reasonableness of the fees. Once an objection is made, the court has considerable discretion to adjust the fee award for any reason put forth by the opposing party. Rode, 892 F.2d at 1183.

 In determining the amount of attorneys' fees to award, the court's first task is to determine the lodestar. The lodestar is a computation of the reasonable hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours reasonably expended by the attorney. Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433. The lodestar produces a presumptively reasonable calculation of attorneys' fees. Washington v. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, 89 F.3d 1031, 1035 (3d Cir. 1996).

 The opposing party may object to the lodestar calculation, calling into question either the reasonableness of the hourly rate requested or the reasonable hours expended. In objecting to the reasonable hours expended, the opposing party may request a reduction of the lodestar on the grounds that, inter alia, the hours expended on the litigation were excessive, redundant, or unnecessary. Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434. Further, the court can reduce the number of hours expended on "litigating claims on which the party did not succeed and that were 'distinct in all respects from' claims on which the party did succeed." Rode, 892 F.2d at 1183.

 After determining the lodestar, the court can make further adjustments "if the lodestar is not reasonable in light of the results obtained. This general reduction accounts for time spent litigating wholly or partially unsuccessful claims that are related to the litigation of the successful claims." Id. (citing Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434-37). An adjustment to the lodestar on the basis of partial success should be "taken independently of the other adjustments and should be the first adjustment applied to the lodestar." Id.

 B. The Lodestar Calculation

 1. Reasonableness of Hourly Rate

 Defendant does not raise an objection to the reasonableness of the hourly rates charged by plaintiff's counsel. Therefore, we will accept as reasonable the hourly rates indicated by plaintiff's counsel in ...


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