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Silver State Broadcasting, LLC v. Beasley FM Acquisition

United States District Court, D. Nevada

November 13, 2014

SILVER STATE BROADCASTING, LLC, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
BEASLEY FM ACQUISITION, et al., Defendants

For Silver State Broadcasting, LLC, Royce International Broadcasting, Golden State Broadcasting, Plaintiffs: Todd W Prall, LEAD ATTORNEY, Hutchison & Steffen, LLC, Las Vegas, NV.

For Beasley FM Acquisition, Beasley Broadcasting of Nevada, WAEC License Limited Partnership, KJUL License LLC, Defendants, Counter Claimants: Sheri M. Thome, LEAD ATTORNEY, Chad C. Butterfield, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, Las Vegas, NV.

For Michael J Bergner, doing business as Bergner & Co, Defendant: Jack P. Burden, Backus Carranza, Las Vegas, NV.

ORDER

C.W. Hoffman, Jr., United States Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendants/Counter-Claimants' (" defendants") motion for attorneys' fees (doc. # 145), filed August 29, 2014. The Court also considered Plaintiffs/Counter-Defendants' (" plaintiffs") response (doc. # 147), filed September 15, 2014, and defendants' reply (doc. # 153), filed September 29, 2014.

BACKGROUND

On August 8, 2014, this Court conducted a hearing on defendants' emergency motion to compel and request for sanctions. See Doc. # 132; Doc. # 133. After carefully considering the arguments presented by the parties in their briefs and at the hearing, the Court granted defendants' motions. See Doc. # 141. With respect to defendants' request for sanctions, the Court ordered the parties to meet and confer regarding the sanctions amount, and directed defendants to file a motion in the event the parties were unable to agree. Id. Thereafter, defendants filed the instant motion. See Doc. # 145.

DISCUSSION

1. Legal Standard

A trial court has broad discretion to determine reasonable attorneys' fees. See Gates v. Deukmejian, 987 F.2d 1392, 1398 (9th Cir. 1992). Reasonable attorneys' fees are calculated using the lodestar method, which involves multiplying the number of hours " reasonably expended" on the litigation by a " reasonable hourly rate." See Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433, 103 S.Ct. 1933, 76 L.Ed.2d 40 (1983); Camacho v. Bridgeport Fin., Inc., 523 F.3d 973, 982 (9th Cir. 2008). The lodestar is " presumptively reasonable" but may be adjusted upward or downward. See City of Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557, 562, 112 S.Ct. 2638, 120 L.Ed.2d 449 (1992); Camacho, 523 F.3d at 982.

In determining whether to adjust the lodestar, a court may consider the following twelve factors: (1) the time and labor required; (2) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved; (3) the skill required to perform the legal service properly; (4) the preclusion of other 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. See Kerr v. Screen Guild Extras, Inc., 526 F.2d 67, 70 (9th Cir. 1975). These factors ultimately help a court determine whether to " exclude from the lodestar amount hours that are not reasonably expended because they are excessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary." Van Gerwen v. Guarantee Mutual Life Co., 214 F.3d 1041, 1045 (9th Cir. 2000).

2. Analysis

The issue before this Court is whether defendants' fees proposal constitutes reasonable attorneys' fees. Defendants request attorneys' fees in the amount of $5, 903.40.[1] The amount reflects 34.5 hours of work at a billing rate of $184 per hour for attorney Sheri Thome (" Thome") and $171 ...


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