The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, District Judge.
This is a fee petition under the Equal Access to Justice Act
("EAJA"). 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). The petitioner was
previously found by the Court to be a prevailing party in
litigation against the United States and therefore entitled to an
award of fees and other expenses incurred in the litigation.
On March 26, 1996, after considerable litigation, the Court
entered a final judgment against the Government in this case,
retaining jurisdiction to entertain and determine any ancillary
post trial motions, including claimants' request for attorneys'
fees (docket no. 146).
On May 2, 1996, pursuant to the Court's Order of April 2, 1996,
claimants' filed a motion to establish entitlement to an award of
costs of reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses (docket no.
149). The Government opposed the motion (docket no. 154).
On August 30, 1996, the Court granted claimants' motion for
entitlement to fees and costs and directed that claimants file an
itemized statement of counsel's fees and expenses by September
30, 1996 (docket no. 158). See United States v. Eleven
Vehicles, 937 F. Supp. 1143 (E.D.Pa. 1996).
Pursuant to the Court's Order, on September 30, 1996, claimants
filed an itemized statement of counsel's hours, rates, and
expenses (the "first itemized statement"). On October 30, 1996,
the Government filed objections to claimants' first itemized
statement. On May 30, 1997, the Court awarded claimants
$142,643.76 for 1,182 hours at a rate of $120.68 per hour
(statutory cap plus cost of living increases) and expenses of
$7,963.81 (docket no. 176). See United States v. Eleven
Vehicles, 937 F. Supp. 1143 (E.D.Pa. 1996).
On August 27, 1997, claimants filed the instant statement of
counsel's fees, hours, and expenses (the "second itemized
statement") requesting $23,333.81 in fees and $560.00 in expenses
for the work performed by counsel after September 26, 1996, the
cutoff date for the first itemized statement.
On October 10, 1997, the Government filed objections to both
the timeliness as well as the merits of the second itemized
statement. It is the second itemized statement, in light of the
Government's objections, that is presently before the Court.*fn1
On considering claimants' second itemized statement for fees
and costs, the
Court is informed by the Supreme Court's twin injunction that "a
request for attorney's fees should not result in a second major
litigation," Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 437, 103 S.Ct.
1933, 76 L.Ed.2d 40 (1983), and that "the EAJA like other fee
shifting statutes favors treating the case as an inclusive whole
rather than as atomized line-items." Commissioner, Immigration &
Naturalization Serv. v. Jean, 496 U.S. 154, 161-62, 110 S.Ct.
2316, 110 L.Ed.2d 134 (1990). Also, the Court recognizes that
once a party objects to a fee application, the Court has wide
discretion in determining the amount of the fee. Hensley, 461
U.S. at 436-37, 103 S.Ct. 1933.
Consistent with this direction from the Supreme Court, the
Court will consider the second itemized statement, together with
the first itemized statement submitted by counsel, which resulted
in the initial fee award. In other words, rather than inquiring
into the particulars of the second itemized statement, as a
separate and distinct event, unlinked to the factors that
informed the Court's rulings in the first itemized statement, the
Court will consider what overall award of fees and expenses for
all the work counsel has performed in this case, will yield a
The Court has previously considered the appropriateness of
counsel's request for fees in connection with the first itemized
statement. See United States v. Eleven Vehicles, 966 F. Supp. 361,
365-368 (E.D.Pa. 1997); United States v. Eleven Vehicles,
937 F. Supp. 1143, 1149-1156 (E.D.Pa. 1996). During these prior
proceedings, the Court considered both the statutory requirements
under the EAJA and the lodestar method applicable to fee-shifting
statutes in an effort to arrive at a "reasonable fee." The
factors considered by the Court in arriving at the fee award
based on the first itemized statement included: the results
obtained, the quality of the legal work prepared by counsel, the
reasonableness of the time spent by counsel in the litigation and
the reasonableness of the hourly fee claimed, the distance
between counsel's office and the site of the litigation, the
availability of other counsel to pursue the matter on behalf of
claimants, counsel's professional qualifications, counsel's
undisclosed work on behalf of petitioner before he was appointed
counsel by the Court in this matter and for which he sought
compensation, and counsel's blood relation to one of the
In connection with the second itemized statement, in addition
to the factors previously considered, the Court will consider the
following additional factors: (1) the supplemental request
involves work performed on motions for reconsideration of
doubtful validity filed by both parties, see Eleven Vehicles,
966 F. Supp. at 364-65 (pointing out that both parties were
"rehashing" their previous arguments), after the Court's
determination of the merits and litigation over the fee award,
see Tr. of telephone conference with counsel of November 9,
1998, at 3-4, and (2) the 190 hours spent by counsel appears
"excessive, redundant and otherwise unnecessary." Becker v. ARCO
Chemical Co., 15 F. Supp.2d 621, 633 (E.D.Pa. 1998), quoting
Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433, 103 S.Ct. 1933.
Viewed in this light and having taken into account all of the
factors considered in connection with the first itemized
statement and the additional factors that bear upon the second
itemized statement, the Court concludes that the previously
awarded fee of $142,643.76 plus $5,000 for the work performed
after September 26, 1996, for a total of $147,643.76, is a
reasonable fee in this case.
Finally, counsel has incurred expenses in the amount of $560.00
since the filing of the last petition. Since the Court previously
determined that counsel was entitled to full reimbursement for
expenses, and the current claim appears legitimate and
reasonable, the $560.00 ...