fees and costs under the statute. Awarding fees (even if not the full
amount Lundy claims) furthers the purposes of 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 2524 by
encouraging others to act to enjoin unauthorized practice in the
Commonwealth. If, as Hochberg argues, unauthorized practice is common,
see Post-Trial Opinion, at 11, awarding fees to Lundy is particularly
necessary to serve the legislative intent to protect consumers.
Second, Hochberg argues that because Lundy knew of his unauthorized
practice, and permitted the unauthorized practice of other associates of
Haymond and Lundy prior to the law firm's dissolution, he should be
prevented from recovering attorney's fees by the equitable doctrine of
"unclean hands". The court has already declined to apply "unclean hands"
to prevent Lundy from bringing this action. See, e.g., Post-Trial
Opinion, at 11-12. However, Lundy had constructive knowledge of
Hochberg's disbarment, and his unauthorized practice, from the very
beginning of the law partnership. See Haymond v. Lundy, 2000 WL 804432,
*3 n. 2, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8585, *8 n. 2 (E.D.Pa. June 22, 2000)
(knowledge imputed to Lundy from his attorney). Hochberg should not
benefit by Lundy's sanction of unauthorized practice: he must be
enjoined from practice in this Commonwealth. But neither should Lundy
receive a reward for aiding and abetting in the unauthorized practice of
law. The court will discount Lundy's fee by an appropriate amount for
his unclean hands when awarding "reasonable" attorney's fees. But
Lundy, as a prevailing party, is entitled to some attorney's fees under
42 Pa. C.S.A. § 2524(c).
B. Amount of Award
Since Lundy is entitled to fees under 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 2524, the
court must determine a reasonable award. Although the award is authorized
by a state law rather than federal statute, the court, although not
obliged to do so, will follow the methodology approved by the Supreme
Court for awards of attorney's fees in federal civil rights actions. See
Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433, 103 S.Ct. 1933, 76 L.Ed.2d 40
(1983). "The district court retains a great deal of discretion" in
determining the award. Bell v. United Princeton Properties, Inc.,
884 F.2d 713, 721 (3d Cir. 1989). For example, the court may exclude
hours not reasonably expended, that is, hours that are excessive,
redundant, or otherwise unnecessary. See Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434, 103
S.Ct. 1933; Rode v. Dellarciprete, 892 F.2d 1177, 1183 (3d Cir. 1990). If
only partial success has been achieved, the fee request should be reduced
for claims or issues on which the party did not prevail. See Hensley, 461
U.S. at 436, 103 S.Ct. 1933. This may be true even if the claims are
interrelated and non-frivolous claims are made. See Rode, 892 F.2d at
In determining a reasonable fee, the calculation begins with the
"lodestar:" the reasonable hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours
reasonably expended. See Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433, 103 S.Ct. 1933.
Plaintiffs must submit verified itemization of the hours worked at the
rates claimed. Id. at 433, 103 S.Ct. 1933. The defendant, if opposing the
fee award, has the burden of challenging the reasonableness of the
requested fee. See Rode, 892 F.2d at 1183.
1. Reasonable Hourly Rate
Hourly rates must be "in line with those prevailing in the community
for similar service by lawyers of reasonably comparable skill,
experience, and reputation." Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 886, 896 n. 11,
104 S.Ct. 1541, 79 L.Ed.2d 891 (1984). See also Smith v. Philadelphia
Hous. Auth., 107 F.3d 223, 225 (3d Cir. 1997). The prevailing market rate
is usually deemed reasonable. See Public Interest Research Group v.
Windall, 51 F.3d 1179, 1185 (3d Cir. 1995). A reasonable rate is one
which will attract adequate counsel but will not produce a windfall to
the attorneys. Id.
Mr. Rosen's rate of $425/hr, Mr. Epstein's rate of $325/hr, and Ms.
Abrams rate of $235/hr, are reasonable and customary for lawyers of their
reputation and experience. The paralegal rates of $100/hr for Jamie
Moses, $90/hr for Rachel Hanoufa, are sufficiently supported, and are
reasonable by current standards. The rate charged by Rocco Colantuono is
unsupported. Rocco Colantuono's time will not be included in the
2. Hours Reasonably Expended
Excessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary hours should be excluded
from the fees awarded. Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434, 103 S.Ct. 1933. Where a
plaintiff does not prevail on a claim which is distinct from his
successful claim, the hours spent on the unsuccessful claim should not be
included in the lodestar calculation. Id. at 434, 103 S.Ct. 1933.
The fee petition includes 56 hours of time billed by Paul Rosen for his
attendance at the breach of contract trial,*fn4 at which his client lost
a jury verdict. This time can not be considered part of the lodestar.
Second, Lundy claims time spent in proceedings before a Connecticut state
court. This time (9 hours for Paul Rosen, Esq., and 10 hours for Jamie
Moses. a paralegal) is disallowed because it is not reasonably related to
the 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 2524 claim allowing the fee award. Finally, time
spent by Paul Rosen to defend the alleged unauthorized practice of law by
Bruce Thall (4.5 hours) is disallowed for the same reason.
The hours reasonably expended on the state unauthorized practice claim
Paul Rosen 96.50
Alan Epstein 20.85
Nancy Abrams 00.30
Jamie Moses 69.30
Rachel K. Hanoufa 02.30
The lodestar is: