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Regions Bank v. Kaplan

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

March 31, 2017

REGIONS BANK, an Alabama banking corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
MARVIN I. KAPLAN, an individual, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          ELIZABETH A. KOVACHEVICH JUDGE

         This cause is before the Court on:

Dkt. 614 Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Expenses (Regions Bank)
Dkt.619 Response (Kaplan Parties)

         In the 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.

         Regions 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.

         Kaplan 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.

         I. Legal Standard for Attorney's Fees Award

         This 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).

         The 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.

         II. Discussion

         A. Rates

         As to 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.

         Given the complexity of this case, the Court finds that $525.00 is a reasonable rate for David Garbett, and $310.00 is a ...


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