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Coffey v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., No. 16-508, 2018 WL 2994395 (D.D.C. June 14, 2018) (Boasberg, J.)


Coffey v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., No. 16-508, 2018 WL 2994395 (D.D.C. June 14, 2018) (Boasberg, J.)

Re:  Requests for records related to the Wild Horse and Burro Program

Disposition:  Granting plaintiff's motion for attorney fees in part, awarding $69,019 in attorney fees and costs

Attorney Fees, Calculations:  The government "concedes that [the plaintiff] is both eligible and entitled to obtain fees here[]" and "does not challenge the rates [the plaintiff] submits."  At issue is the time used to calculate the amount of fees.  In response to the government's argument of "insufficiently detailed time records" and "certain entries that do not seem appropriate[,] . . . the Court does not infer from these isolated mistakes that counsel's timekeeping was generally not contemporaneous." The court declines to deduct fees for "work toward settlement of the fees dispute . . . on the ground that Plaintiff did not substantially prevail . . . since settlement was not achieved."  The court holds that "Plaintiff does ultimately prevail by obtaining fees here.  In addition, courts should not discourage parties from attempting to settle fees issues . . . ."

However, the court deducts fees for time spent timekeeping, in addition to fees sought for "another attorney to review Plaintiff's attorneys' records for reasonableness [as] an unnecessary use of funds . . .."  The court also deducts fess for "time spent reviewing documents released by [the defendant]." Finally, the court holds that the "Plaintiff's counsel has submitted excessive hours for the drafting of their substantive motions[,]" and reduces fees sought for motions by 50%.     

Court Decision Topic(s)
Attorney Fees
District Court opinions
Updated January 31, 2020