United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
before me is Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's Fees,
requesting approximately $29, 829.38 in fees and costs, filed
in conjunction with a judgment entered in favor of Plaintiff
in the amount of $7, 817.83.
action arises out of Defendants' alleged failure to pay
Plaintiff promised wages, including overtime wages, bonuses,
benefits, and expense reimbursements. On April 10, 2018,
Plaintiff filed a Complaint, alleging violations of the Fair
Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.
(“FLSA”), the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, 43
P.S. § 333.101, et seq., and the Pennsylvania
Wage Payment and Collection Law, 43 P.S. § 260.1, et
seq., as well as breach of contract and unjust
enrichment. On December 17, 2018, judgment was entered in
favor of Plaintiff in the amount of $7, 817.83.
Motion before me specifically requests $29, 407.50 in
attorney's fees and $421.88 in costs, for a total of $29,
829.38. Raising several objections, Defendants urge that
these requests should be drastically reduced to $4, 000 in
attorney's fees. While I agree that some fees should be
reduced, the Motion will be substantially granted. For the
reasons that follow, Plaintiff will be awarded $28, 695.00 in
attorney's fees and $421.88 in costs.
FLSA provides that the prevailing party is entitled to
“reasonable attorney's fees” and “costs
of the action.” 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). The district
court has the discretion to award reasonable attorney's
fees. Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 437
(1983). The district court is afforded high discretion in
determining the proper amount of the award. Bell v.
United Princeton Prop., Inc., 844 F.2d 713, 721 (3d Cir.
standard for calculating a proper award for attorney's
fees is the lodestar method. “The lodestar formula
multiplies the reasonable number of hours expended by a
reasonable hourly rate.” Squires Golf Club v. Bank
of America, No. 10-6734, 2011 WL 1050426, at *1 (E.D.
Pa., Mar. 22, 2011) (citing Hensley v. Eckerhart,
461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983)). In reviewing an award of
reasonable attorney's fees, “it is necessary that
the Court ‘go line, by line, by line' through the
billing records supporting the fee request.”
Id. (citing Evans v. Port Auth. Of N.Y. &
N.J. 273 F.3d 346, 362 (3d Cir. 2001)). “The
lodestar is presumed to be the reasonable fee.”
Rode v. Dellarciprete, 892 F.2d 1177, 1183 (3d Cir.
1990) (citing Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 886, 897
(1984)). The party seeking attorney's fees has the burden
to prove that its request for attorney's fees is
reasonable. Id. “To meet its burden, the fee
petitioner must ‘submit evidence supporting the hours
worked and rates claimed.'” Id. (quoting
Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983)).
the district court has the discretion to make certain
adjustments to the lodestar” and the party seeking any
such adjustment “has the burden of proving that an
adjustment is necessary.” Id. “The court
also can deduct hours when the fee petition inadequately
documents the hours claimed.” Id. Duplicative,
redundant or excessive fees should not be rewarded.
Interfaith Community Org. v. Honeywell Int'l,
Inc., 426 F.3d 694 (3d Cir 2005).
Untimeliness of Objections
argues that I should not consider Defendants' objections
because they were not timely filed. (Reply 4-5, ECF No. 19.)
I held argument on Plaintiff's Motion, wherein Defense
Counsel explained that he applied the state filing rule
instead of the federal rule. (Hr'g Tr., 6:20- 7:15, ECF
No. 23.) During the hearing, I found that this explanation
was excusable pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
6(b). (Id.) Accordingly, Plaintiff's argument
that the fee petition should be granted on this ground is
Number of Hours Expended
Motion for Attorney's Fees, Plaintiff's Counsel
submitted that she expended 78.42 hours litigating this case,
for a total of $29, 407.50. (Pl.'s Mot. for
Att'y's Fees ¶ 7, ECF No. 12.) In support,
Plaintiff submitted timesheets with approximately forty
entries. (Id. Ex. B.) Defendants have objected to a
significant number of these time entries, asserting that the
proper amount billed should be reduced to $3, 065.53. (Resp.
2-3, ECF No. 13.)
reviewed the forty timesheet entries line by line and
Defendants' objections. I will address the parties'
disputes through an analysis of ...