United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ELIZABETH A. KOVACHEVICH JUDGE
before the undersigned is the Report and Recommendation
("R&R") of United States Magistrate Judge Julie
S. Sneed. (Doc. 278). By the thorough and well-reasoned
R&R, Judge Sneed recommends that Defendants All Florida
Weatherproofing & Construction, Inc.'s ("All
Florida"), Richard Fulford's, and Robert
Mendenhall's (collectively, "Defendants")
motions for an award of an appellate attorney fee, (Docs.
264, 271), be granted in part, (Doc 278). All Florida objects
in part. (Doc. 279).
successfully defending on appeal to the Eleventh Circuit both
the entry of a declaratory judgment in their favor and a
corresponding award of an attorney fee, Defendants now
request an award of an appellate attorney fee. (Docs. 264,
271). Judge Sneed recommends the undersigned grant
Defendants' motions in part, to the extent that All
Florida be awarded $128, 530.00 and Fulford and Mendenhall be
awarded $20, 440.00. (Doc. 278). Her recommendation
doesn't include an award of a fee multiplier for
defending either appeal; and, in fact, Judge Sneed recommends
the undersigned deny any such request. All Florida objects to
Judge Sneed's recommendation that the undersigned deny
All Florida's request for a fee multiplier for its work
in defending the appeal of the declaratory judgment.
Additionally, All Florida requests the Court award
prejudgment interest as a matter of law on any fee award. The
R&R doesn't include a recommendation regarding an
award of prejudgment intertest.
the Federal Magistrates Act ("Act"), Congress
vested Article III judges with the power to "designate a
magistrate judge to hear and determine any pretrial matter
pending before the court," subject to various
exceptions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). The Act further
vests magistrate judges with authority to submit proposed
findings of fact and recommendations for disposition by an
Article III judge. Id. § 636(b)(1)(B).
"Within fourteen days after being served with a copy [of
a magistrate judge's report and recommendation], any
party may serve and file written objections to [the
magistrate judge's] proposed findings and
recommendations." Id. § 636(b)(1). On
review, the district judge "shall make a de novo
determination of those portions of the report ... to which
objection is made." Id. When no timely and
specific objections are filed, caselaw indicates the district
judge should review the magistrate judge's proposed
findings and recommendations using a clearly erroneous
standard. See Gropp v. United Airlines, Inc., 817
F.Supp. 1558, 1562 (M.D. Fla. 1993).
careful consideration of the R&R, in conjunction with an
independent examination of the pertinent portions of the file
and a de novo review of Judge Sneed's findings and
recommendations, the undersigned will overrule All
Florida's objections, adopt the R&R, and deny All
Florida's request for a fee multiplier. See Wells v.
U.S. Steel, 76 F.3d 731, 737 (6th Cir. 1996) (holding
that enhancement of a lodestar calculation with a fee
multiplier is within the sound discretion of the district
Court will grant All Florida's request for an award of
prejudgment interest. See Quality Engineered
Installation, Inc. v. Higley S., Inc., 670 So.2d 929,
930-31 (Fla. 1996). See also Lumpuy v. Scottsdale Ins.
Co.. No. 8:11-cv-2455-SCB-MAP, 2015 WL 1708875, at *4
(M.D. Fla. Apr. 15, 2015) (Bucklew, J.) (awarding prejudgment
interest on appellate attorney fee award at the statutory
rate as of the date the Eleventh Circuit issued its opinion
affirming the order of the district court).
it is ORDERED as follows:
Judge Sneed's R&R, (Doc. 278), is
AFFIRMED and ADOPTED and
INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE into this Order
for all purposes, including appellate review.
Defendants' Motion for Determination of Appellate
Attorney's Fees, (Doc. 264), is GRANTED IN
PART as follows:
a. All Florida is awarded $111, 585.00.
b. Mendenhall and Fulford are awarded $16, 000.00.
c. Defendants are entitled to prejudgment interest on these
amounts, with interest accruing from March 30, 2018.
Defendants' Motion for Attorney's Fees, (Doc. 271),