United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Raymond A. Jackson United States District Judge
the Court is Trans-Radial Solutions, LLC's
("Plaintiff or "TRS") Petition for
Attorneys' Fees. ECF No. 87. Fees will be awarded to
Plaintiff in accordance with this Order.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
20, 2019, Magistrate Judge Robert J. Krask entered the
discovery order that is the genesis of the instant matter.
ECF No. 36. On May 22, 2019, Plaintiff propounded its first
discovery requests on the Defendants. ECF No. 41-A-F.
Pursuant to local rules and the applicable Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, objections to the Plaintiffs discovery
requests were due on June 6, 2019, while answers and
responses to Plaintiffs discovery requests were due on June
21, 2019. See Local Civ. R. 26(C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 34,
20, 2019, defense counsel contacted opposing counsel
requesting an extension until July 5, 2019 to serve both
responses and objections, despite the fact that objections
were due 14 days earlier and answers and responses were due
the next day. ECF No. 41-7. Counsel for each of the parties
conferred again on June 24, 2019 and were unable to resolve
their discovery disputes. Id. On June 27, 2019, the
parties were directed to engage in a process requiring them
to report all claims in controversy by July 29, 2019. ECF No.
39. On July 3, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel
Discovery after not receiving any discovery material from the
Defendants. ECF Nos. 40, 41. On July 8, 2019, Plaintiffs
supplemented their Motion to Compel Discovery with a Notice
regarding its Motion to Compel, explaining that Defendants
still had not provided any of the requested discovery
material. ECF No. 42. Defendants responded to the Plaintiffs
Motion to Compel Discovery on July 18, 2019. ECF No. 49.
Plaintiffs replied to Defendant's response on July 23,
2019. ECF No. 50. It is also noted that the parties were
unable to agree on the timing of their settlement conference
based on their discovery disputes and litigated that issue
accordingly. See ECF Nos. 45-47, 51, 52, 57.
August 23, 2019, Plaintiffs Motion to Compel Discovery was
granted in part and denied in part. ECF No. 66. Relevant to
the instant matter, Plaintiffs request for reasonable
expenses, including attorneys' fees incurred in briefing
their Motion to Compel Discovery, was granted and the parties
were directed to confer regarding the expenses associated
with the motion. Id. On September 6, 2019,
Defendants submitted their Objections to the Order granting
Plaintiffs Motion to Compel Discovery. ECF No. 69. On October
1, 2019, the Defendants' Objections to the Order
partially granting Plaintiffs Motion to Compel Discovery were
overruled. ECF Nos. 84, 86. The parties were subsequently
unable to agree on the fees associated with the Plaintiffs
Motion to Compel Discovery, so Plaintiffs counsel submitted a
Petition for Attorneys' Fees on October 15, 2019. ECF No.
87. In their Petition for Attorneys' Fees, Plaintiff
claims expenses of $11, 150. Id. Defendants
responded in opposition to the Plaintiffs Petition on October
29, 2019. ECF No. 88. Plaintiff replied to the
Defendants' response in opposition on November 4, 2019.
ECF No. 91. This matter is now ripe for disposition.
calculating an award of attorney's fees, a court must
first determine a lodestar figure by multiplying the number
of reasonable hours expended times a reasonable rate.
Robinson v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 560 F.3d 235,
243 (4th Cir. 2009). To determine the lodestar figure, courts
within the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit ("Fourth Circuit") apply the twelve-factor
test first set forth in Johnson v. Ga. Highway Express,
Inc., 488 F.2d 714, 717- 19 (5th Cir. 1974) and adopted
in Barber v. Kimbrell's Inc., 511 F.2d 216, 226
(4th Cir. 1978). The Fourth Circuit has summarized the
Johnson/Barber factors to include:
(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 the attorney
and client; and (12) attorneys' fees awards in similar
Grissom v. The Mills Corp., 549 F.3d 313, 321 (4th
Cir. 2008) citing Spell v. McDaniel, 824 F.2d 1380,
1402 n. 18 (4th Cir. 1987).
calculation of the lodestar figure, the court should subtract
fees for hours spent on claims unrelated to successful ones.
Johnson v. City of Aiken, 278 F.3d 333, 337 (4th
Cir. 2002). Once the court has subtracted the fees incurred
for unsuccessful or unrelated claims, it then awards some
percentage of the remaining amount, depending on the degree
of success enjoyed by the party entitled to the
attorneys' fee award. Id.
instant matter, Plaintiffs counsel claims 35.3 hours (32.7
attorney hours and 2.6 paralegal hours) went into (1)
preparation of the original Motion to Compel (ECF Nos. 40,
41); (2) preparation of the Notice Regarding Motion to Compel
(ECF No. 42); preparation of the Reply Brief in Support of
the Motion to Compel (ECF No. 50); and preparation for the
August 23, 2019 hearing on the Motion to Compel and the
associated briefings. See ECF No. 66.
Application of the John ...