United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
LEON HOLMES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiffs brought this case under the Fair Labor Standards
Act and the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act. This Court has entered
judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in the total amount of
$47, 819.42 in unpaid wages and liquidated damages. The
plaintiffs have now filed a motion for costs and
attorneys' fees. In that motion, they seek attorneys'
fees in the total amount of $38, 746.25. They also seek costs
and expenses in the amount of $559.74.
request is the result of the application of the traditional
lodestar system. The plaintiffs show a total time of 219.95
hours resulting in a statement of fees totaling $46, 701.25.
After the plaintiffs have applied their own reductions to the
time claimed, the amount is reduced to 184.55 hours totaling,
as noted, $38, 746.25. The components of the fee request are
19.75 hours for Josh Sanford at the rate of $325 per hour for
a total of $6, 418.75; 118.30 hours for Lydia Hamlet at the
rate of $175 per hour for a total of $20, 702.50; and 46.50
hours for Vanessa Kinney at the rate of $250 per hour for a
total of $11, 625.00.
starting point for determining the amount of reasonable fees
is the lodestar, which multiplies the number of hours
reasonably expended by a reasonable hourly rate. See
Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433, 103 S.Ct. 1933,
1939, 76 L.Ed.2d 40 (1983). In determining the lodestar, a
court may consider such factors as:
(1) the time and labor required; (2) the novelty and
difficulty of the questions; (3) the skill requisite to
perform the legal service properly; (4) the preclusion of
employment by the attorney due to acceptance of the case; (5)
the customary fee; (6) whether the fee is fixed or
contingent; (7) time limitations imposed by the client or the
circumstances; (8) the amount involved and the results
obtained; (9) the experience, reputation, and ability of the
attorneys; (10) the “undesirability” of the case;
(11) the nature and length of the professional relationship
with the client; and (12) awards in similar cases.
Id. at 430 n.3, 103 S.Ct. at 1937 n.3.
initial issue is whether the hourly rates are reasonable.
“As a general rule, a reasonable hourly rate is the
prevailing market rate, that is, ‘the ordinary rate for
similar work in the community where the case has been
litigated.'” Moysis v. DTG Datanet, 278
F.3d 819, 828 (8th Cir. 2002) (quoting Emery v.
Hunt, 272 F.3d 1042, 1047 (8th Cir. 2001)). In other
cases, this Court has found the prevailing market rate in
this locality to be $275 per hour for partners and $225 per
hour for associates with experience equal to or greater than
the lawyers here. Based on the same factors, the Court
determines that the reasonable hourly rate for Josh Sanford
is $275, for Vanessa Kinney $225, and for Lydia Hamlet $175.
The time claimed is reasonable. Multiplying the hourly rate
times the time claimed for each of the three lawyers produces
@ $275 per hour x 19.75 hours =
@ $225 per hour x 46.50 hours =
@ $175 per hour x 118.30 hours =
calculation gives us the lodestar figure.
determination of the lodestar figure “includes most, if
not all, of the relevant factors constituting a
‘reasonable' attorney's fee.” Perdue
v. Kenny A. ex rel. Winn, 559 U.S. 542, 553, 130 S.Ct.
1662, 1673, 176 L.Ed.2d 494 (2010) (quoting Pennsylvania
v. Del. Valley Citizens' Council for Clean
Air, 478 U.S. 546, 566, 106 S.Ct. 3088, 3098, 92 L.Ed.2d
439 (1986)). Consequently, “there is a ‘strong
presumption' that the lodestar figure is reasonable, but
that presumption may be overcome in those rare circumstances
in which the lodestar does not adequately take into account a
factor that may properly be considered in determining a
reasonable fee.” Perdue, 552 U.S. at 554, 130
S.Ct. at 1673.
the record indicates that the defendants have left the
country. Consequently, collecting on the judgments is likely
to be more difficult than in the ordinary case. Therefore,
the Court has decided to increase the fee award by ten
percent. The lodestar figure will be enhanced by ten percent
or $3, 659.63, resulting in total attorneys' fees of $40,
in the amount of $559.74 also are awarded. The result is a
total award of fees and ...