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Pennar Software Corp. v. Fortune 500 Systems

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


February 16, 2006

PENNAR SOFTWARE CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF
v.
FORTUNE 500 SYSTEMS, LTD., DEFENDANT

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Christopher C. Conner United States District Judge

ORDER

And now, this 16th day of February, 2006, upon consideration of the motion (Doc. 250), filed by Naren Chaganti ("Chaganti"), for reconsideration of the order of court dated February 6, 2006 (Doc. 239), which directed Chaganti to tender to defendant $10,341 in attorney's fees and costs related to a mistrial in the above-captioned case,*fn1 arguing that an affidavit (Doc. 227) submitted by defendant in support of its fee request should have been excluded because the affiant "[was] not qualified as an expert in the field of attorney's fees," and it appearing that the affidavit was submitted for the purpose of assessing prevailing market rates for attorneys of comparable experience (see Docs. 224, 227), see In re Rite Aid Corp. Sec. Litig., 396 F.3d 294, 301-02, 305 (3d Cir. 2005) (stating that courts are to conduct a "robust" analysis of the reasonableness of proffered fees in light of the geographic area, nature of services provided, and experience of the attorneys); Interfaith Cmty. Org. v. Honeywell, 426 F.3d 694, 708 (3d Cir. 2005) ("[T]o determine the prevailing market rates in the relevant community, a court must assess the experience and skill of the . . . attorneys and compare their rates to the rates prevailing in the community for similar services by lawyers of reasonably comparable skill, experience, and reputation."), that the affidavit does not proffer any scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge, see FED. R. EVID. 702 (stating that court may qualify expert where "scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact"); see also Hall v. Borough of Roselle, 747 F.2d 838, 841 (3d Cir. 1984) (stating that expert testimony is not needed for attorney's fee determination); Tranberg v. Tranberg, 456 F.2d 173, 175 (3d Cir. 1972) (same), and that Chaganti failed to object to or address the reasonableness of the affidavit,*fn2 see Loughner v. Univ. of Pittsburgh, 260 F.3d 173, 178 (3d Cir. 2001) ("The party opposing the fee award has the burden to challenge by affidavit or brief with sufficient specificity to give fee applicants notice, the reasonableness of the requested fee."; id. ("[T]he district court cannot decrease a fee award based on factors not raised at all by the adverse party."), it is hereby ORDERED that the motion for reconsideration (Doc. 250) is DENIED.*fn3


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