United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
C. CACHERIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Attorney's Fees [Dkt. 16]. For the reasons that follow,
the Court will grant Plaintiff's Motion in part and deny
it in part, awarding Plaintiff $23, 875.36 in attorney's
fees and $733.36 in litigation costs.
formerly worked as a technician for Defendants making oral
prosthetic devices. On July 3, 2015, Plaintiff notified
Defendants through counsel that he believed he had a claim
for unpaid overtime wages pursuant to the Fair Labor
Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 207 (FLSA). He offered to
settle his claim for $19, 790.00, but received no response.
30, 2015, Plaintiff brought suit against Defendants under the
FLSA, alleging that Defendants failed to pay him overtime
wages at a rate not less than one and a half times his normal
pay. The case progressed through limited discovery before
settlement negotiations resumed. The parties settled the case
on February 10, 2016 for $10, 000 plus reasonable
attorney's fees to be agreed upon or submitted to the
Court in the absence of an agreement.
now moves for an award of fees totaling $31, 372.06,
representing 70.499 hours of work at a rate of $445 an hour,
as well as litigation costs in the amount of $733.36.
FLSA provides that courts “shall, in addition to any
judgment awarded to the plaintiff or plaintiffs, allow a
reasonable attorney's fee to be paid by the defendant,
and costs of the action.” 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). The
parties' settlement agreement expressly allows for
recovery of fees and costs pursuant to this provision in an
amount to be determined by the Court unless otherwise agreed
by the parties. See Joint Mot. for Approval of
Settlement Exh. 1 [Dkt. 13-1] at 2-3.
evaluating a fee petition, “[t]he most useful starting
point for determining the amount of a reasonable fee is the
number of hours reasonably expended on the litigation
multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate.” Hensley v.
Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983). In conjunction with
this calculation, courts evaluate:
(1) the time and labor expended; (2) the novelty and
difficulty of the questions raised; (3) the skill required to
properly perform the legal services rendered; (4) the
attorney's opportunity costs in pressing the instant
litigation; (5) the customary fee for like work; (6) the
attorney's expectations at the outset of the litigation;
(7) the time limitations imposed by the client or
circumstances; (8) the amount in controversy and the results
obtained; (9) the experience, reputation and ability of the
attorney; (10) the undesirability of the case within the
legal community in which the suit arose; (11) the nature and
length of the professional relationship between attorney and
client; and (12) attorneys' fees awards in similar cases.
Barber v. Kimbrell's, Inc., 577 F.2d 216, 226
n.28 (4th Cir. 1978). Generally, “[t]he Court need not
address all twelve Kimbrell's factors
independently” as they are “subsumed” into
the initial evaluation of what constitutes a reasonable rate
and number of hours expended. Wells Fargo Bank, Nat.
Ass'n v. Walls, No. 1:12-CV-664 LMB/IDD, 2013 WL
869902, at *2 (E.D. Va. Mar. 4, 2013), aff'd 543
F. App'x 350 (4th Cir. 2013).
A. Time and Labor Required
Court begins by assessing the reasonableness of the number of
hours Plaintiff's counsel - Matthew B. Kaplan - expended
on this litigation. Counsel's billing records show that
he spent a total of ...