Elec. Privacy Info. Ctr. v. U.S. Transp. Sec. Admin., No. 11-290, 2013 WL 5620859 (D.D.C. October 15, 2013) (Lamberth, J.)

Date: 
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Re: Motion for attorneys fees in connection with request for records relating to full-body scanning machines used by agency in airports to screen travelers on commercial aircraft Disposition: Granting plaintiff's request for attorneys' fees and costs; awarding plaintiff $9,373.34 in fees and costs
  • Attorneys' Fees:  "TSA concedes that EPIC is entitled to fees and costs associated with TSA’s voluntary production of documents . . ., but disputes the amount."  The court finds that the amount sought "must be reduced."  "[T]he Court agrees that [plaintiff] should not get fees for time drafting a motion to appear pro hac vice that was denied."  "The Court also agrees that [plaintiff] cannot claim 'fees for time spent responding to the Court's order for [plaintiff] to show cause.'"  "[T]he court must also reduce some of the remaining pre-August hours, all of which were logged by . . . an attorney who was . . . not barred in D.C."  The court also "reduce[s] that number in accordance with [plaintiff's] limited success on its summary judgment motion."  The "Court finds that [plaintiff] dedicated about 13 pages of argument out of 33, or 39.3939... %, to exemption 5 (the winning issue)." The court also notes that "[defendant] made a settlement offer under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 on April 12, 2013."  "Accordingly, the Court will split fees incurred up to that date from fees incurred after."  "For fees on fees incurred up to April 12th, [plaintiff] seeks $5065.50."  "The Court will remove $882 for attorneys who participated in the March 2013 conferences without taking part in this litigation beforehand, leaving $4,183.50."  "The Court will then reserve $571 for unique entries and halve the rest for double billing with EPIC v. DHS."  "As a result, the subtotal is $2,662.75."  "Finally, taking the same percentage of the subtotal as the fees on the merits awarded to fees on the merits sought, the pre-April 2013 fees on fees amount to $1,128.89."  "Thus, [plaintiff]'s total for fees and costs incurred up to April 12, 2013, equals $9,373.34."  "[Plaintiff] seeks $6,070 for fees incurred after the Rule 68 offer (including fees for the reply."  "First, $49 is eliminated for [one] affidavit because [the drafter] logged hours for the March 2013 conferences and nothing more."  "Then, $2,521.50 is reserved for billing unique to this case and the rest is halved."  "The subtotal is now $4,271.25."  "After taking the appropriate percentage of the subtotal, [plaintiff's] post-offer fees equal $1,810.82." The court concludes by stating that, "[f]or the foregoing reasons, [plaintiff] is entitled to $9,373.34 in attorneys' fees and costs."  "[Plaintiff] may be entitled to $1,810.82 more, but only if [defendant's] Rule 68 offer was for less than $9,373.34."
Topic: 
Attorney Fees
District Court
Updated August 6, 2014