United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ELIZABETH A. KOVACHEVICH JUDGE
cause is before the Court on:
Dkt. 614 Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Expenses
Dkt.619 Response (Kaplan Parties)
Motion, Regions Bank seeks the award of reasonable
attorney's fees and expenses for the last minute
cancellation of the depositions of Robert Shaw, Brandy
Barnett and Timothy Curren, based on the Order of Magistrate
Judge Pizzo determining that Regions Bank was entitled to the
award of reasonable attorney's fees and expenses (Dkt.
531). Judge Pizzo determined that it was unreasonable for
Kaplan Parties to cancel out-of-town depositions on less than
24 hours notice.
Bank seeks the award of attorney's fees for 80 hours of
preparation time by the attorneys who attended the cancelled
depositions (44.6 hours for David Garbett and 35.4 hours for
Joseph Perkins), as well as $3, 368.44 for expenses.
Parties object to all of Perkins' attorney time and all
but 11 hours of Garbett's attorney time. Kaplan Parties
concede that $150.00 per day for meals is reasonable, but
believe that only one travel day was reasonable. Kaplan
Parties further do not object to photocopy expense in the
amount of $365.51, overnight delivery expense of $11.03, and
travel miles in the amount of $266.80.
Legal Standard for Attorney's Fees Award
Circuit uses the lodestar method, multiplying the reasonable
hours by the reasonable hourly rates. Norman v. Housing
Authority of Citv of Montgomery. 836 F.2d 1292 (11th
Cir. 1988). The reasonable hourly rate is the prevailing rate
in the district for similar services by lawyers of comparable
skill, experience and reputation. See Blum v.
Stenson. 465 U.S. 886 (1984). In determining the
lodestar, the Court may consider the factors in Johnson
v. Georgia Highway Express. Inc.. 488 F.2d 714, 717-19
(5th Cir. 1974). See Farlev v. Nationwide Mut. Ins.
Co., 197 F.3d 1322, 1340 (11th Cir. 1999).
moving party bears the burden of documenting the hours and
rates. Hopkins Props.. LLC v. Geddinos. 2013 WL
4413350, at *3 (M.D. Fla. 2013)(citing Henslevv.Eckerhart.
461 U.S. 424, 437 (1983). Documentation of rates is satisfied
“by producing either direct evidence of rates charged
under similar circumstances, or opinion evidence of
reasonable rates.” Hopkins. 2013 WL 4413350 at *3. The
Court may consider its own knowledge and experience in
determining rates without the aid of witnesses.
David Garbett, the hourly rate proposed ranges from $431.25
to $550.00 As to Joseph Perkins, the hourly rate proposed
ranges from $217.50 to $400.00.
the complexity of this case, the Court finds that $525.00 is
a reasonable rate for David Garbett, and $310.00 is a