The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jacob P. Hart United States Magistrate Judge
On December 12, 2011, following a one day bench trial which took place on November 1, 2011, I entered judgment in favor of plaintiffs Keith Jackson, Sr., Kevin Joe, David Whaley, Gregory Reaves, Jr., and Aja Garlick (now Mrs. Reaves). Plaintiffs sued defendants Art of Life, Inc., Advanced Life Support Ambulance, Inc., and Nick Broytman for overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") (29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.). I awarded Plaintiffs $105,078.62 in damages, and invited them to submit a petition for reasonable attorney's fees and costs, as permitted by 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).
Plaintiffs subsequently submitted a fee petition, to which Defendants have responded. As explained below, I will now enter an Order contemporaneous with this Opinion, ordering Defendants to pay Plaintiffs the sum of $83,533.00 in attorney's fees, and $2,897.04 in costs, for a total of $86,430.04.
The FLSA provides that "The court in such an action shall, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff or plaintiffs, allow a reasonable attorney's fee to be paid by the defendant, and the costs of any action. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), and see, e.g., Loughner v. University of Pittsburgh, 260 F.3d 173, 177 (3d Cir. 2001).
As the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has explained: In cases like this, we use the "lodestar" formula, which requires multiplying the number of hours reasonably expended by a reasonable hourly rate. See Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 103 S. Ct. 1933, 76 L. Ed.2d 40 (1983); Pennsylvania v. Delaware Valley Citizens Council for Clean Air, 478 U.S. 546, 106 S. Ct. 3088, 92 L. Ed.2d 439 (1986); Pennsylvania Environmental Defense [v. Canon -McMillan], 152 F.3d  at 232 [(3d. Cir. 1998)]. ... Generally, a reasonable hourly rate is calculated according to the prevailing market rates in the relevant community. See Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 886, 895, 104 S. Ct. 1541, 79 L. Ed.2d 891 (1984); [Rode v.] Dellarciprete, 892 F.2d  at 1183 [(3d Cir. 1990)].
Loughner v. University of Pittsburgh, supra, at 177-178, 180.
Moreover, the trial court must articulate the basis for a fee award at least to the extent that the record reflects that it fully comprehended the factual and legal issues and adequately performed the decision-reaching process. Loughner, supra, at 178, citing Pennsylvania Environ. Def., supra, at 232-233.
In this case, the defendants do not challenge the qualifications of plaintiffs' counsel, nor do they challenge the hourly rates they request. I further note that Plaintiff's petition was accompanied by several affidavits from well-respected trial attorneys affirming that the fees requested were reasonable, taking into account counsel's experience. Thus, the fee rates are not at issue here. Similarly, Defendants have not challenged the costs requested. Nevertheless, Defendants have raised two issues, which I have found to be partly meritorious.
Amy Karpf is both an attorney and a C.P.A. She is a partner at the law firm of Karpf &
Karpf, P.C. She was instrumental in compiling and analyzing the trial evidence, and in devising the methods by which counsel arrived at a damages calculation for each plaintiff. Amy Karpf did not try this case, or sit at counsel table, but she did attend the trial, and has billed 10.6 hours for that day.
Defendants maintain that the spreadsheets produced by Amy Karpf were actually "rather straightforward, simple calculations ... using a standard estimating figure." Response at ¶ 16. They also maintain that her presence was not necessary at trial, since she had already spent significant time explaining ...