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Lewis v. Casa DI Amore LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 20, 2019

PAMELA K. LEWIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CASA DI AMORE LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Two motions come before the Court: Plaintiff Pamela Lewis's Motion for Attorney Fees, Costs, and Interest, ECF No. 86, and Defendants Casa Di Amore LLC and Michael Campagno's Motion to Extend Time to File Notice of Appeal. ECF No. 91. Defendant Jeff Schwartz joined to the Motion to Extend Time to File Notice of Appeal. ECF No. 95.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff sued Defendants on July 17, 2015, alleging claims for unpaid wages and a claim for retaliation. ECF No. 1. The litigation spanned approximately three years and was especially adversarial in nature. See generally case docket. The matter ultimately concluded by bench trial, which required approximately ten hours over a span of five days. ECF Nos. 60, 64, 65, 70, 73. The Court issued its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on August 23, 2018, finding in favor of Plaintiff on her unpaid wage claims and awarding her $18, 211.47 in unpaid wages. Id. The Clerk of the Court entered final judgment in favor of Plaintiff on August 23, 2018. ECF No. 85.

         Plaintiff now moves for attorney fees, costs, and interest. ECF No. 86. Plaintiff's counsel, Patricia Marr, seeks attorney fees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) or Nevada Revised Statute § 608.140 for 109.4 hours at a rate of $600 per hour. ECF No. 86. Plaintiff also seeks costs totaling $1, 077 and prejudgment interest totaling $4, 036.77. Id. In support of the motion, Plaintiff attaches Marr's declaration, hourly billing records, and a log of costs. ECF Nos. 86-1, 86-2, 87-1. In Marr's declaration, Marr details her relevant qualifications as follows: she graduated from William S. Boy School of Law in May 2003 and was admitted to the Nevada bar in 2004;[1]she practices civil litigation; she is admitted to practice in Nevada's state courts, this Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. ECF No. 86-1. Marr describes the work in this matter as requiring an inherent risk, the exclusion of other work, and demanding additional attention and time due to defending multiple Rule 11 Motions. Id.

         In addition to Plaintiff's motion, Defendants Casa Di Amore and Campagno move to extend the time to file a notice of appeal. ECF No. 91. Defendants filed the motion on October 23, 2018. ECF No. 91. According to Campagno's declaration, Casa Di Amore and Campagno's prior counsel, Todd Leventhal, became unresponsive beginning in July 2018. ECF No. 91-1. Campagno attempted to contact Leventhal regarding the status of the case via a text message to his assistant on July 24, 2018. Id. He was informed that the assistant was no longer working for Leventhal and that a different individual would contact him with a status update. Id. After not receiving any further response, Campagno attempted to contact Leventhal on August 15, 2018 via telephone. Id. He was told by Leventhal's new assistant that his call would be returned. Id. Leventhal never returned the called. Id.

         On August 27, 2018, Leventhal's assistant forwarded a copy of the final judgment to Campagno. Id. Campagno attempted to contact Leventhal to discuss the final judgment via telephone on September 15, 2018. Id. His call was never returned. Id. He therefore emailed Leventhal's assistant on September 26, 2018, requesting to speak with Leventhal about the judgment. Id. Leventhal did not return the message. Id. Campagno called Leventhal again on October 1, 2018, leaving another message that went unreturned. Id. Campagno then traveled to Leventhal's office on October 4, 2018 to discuss the judgment with Leventhal but was informed that an appointment would be necessary. Id. Campagno made a final attempt to contact Leventhal on October 8, 2018, leaving yet another unreturned message. Id.

         After retaining new counsel, Leventhal moved to extend the time to file a notice of appeal. See id. Defendant Schwartz joined to the motion on October 25, 2018, relying on the motion and Defendant Campagno's declaration but submitting no declaration of his own despite being represented by different counsel. ECF No. 95.

         The Court held oral argument on the parties' motions on January 3, 2019.

         III. MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES, COSTS, AND INTEREST

         The Court first turns to Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney Fees, Costs, and Interest. Both sides agree that the Court should apply the Lodestar method to determine the amount of attorney fees to award in this matter.

         a. Legal Standard

          To determine the Lodestar figure, the Court multiplies the number of hours reasonably expended on the case by the market rate “prevailing in the community for similar services of lawyers of reasonably comparable skill and reputation.” Jordan v. Multnomah County, 815 F.2d 1258, 1263 (9th Cir. 1987). The burden is on the fee applicant to produce evidence that demonstrates that the requested hours and hourly rates are reasonable. Id. Factors the Court may consider in reducing the number of hours reasonably expended include inadequate documentation, overstaffing of the case, ...


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