United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
T. TRIMBLE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
April 5, 2017, the court issued a Memorandum Ruling and
Judgment wherein we granted Appellee's motion
to dismiss the instant bankruptcy appeal and also granted
Appellee's motion for attorney's fees for Appellants
filing a frivolous appeal. The court then ordered the
Appellee to submit an itemized statement of fees and costs
and also ordered Appellant to file its rebuttal. Appellees
filed their statement, but Appellant failed to timely file
its rebuttal and the undersigned denied Appellant's
motion for extension of time to do so.
court has determined that a movant is entitled to attorney
fees, then it must determine the amount. The calculation of
reasonable attorney fees involves a well-established two-step
process.Step one calculates a "lodestar"
fee by multiplying the reasonable number of hours spent on
the case by the reasonable hourly rates for the participating
lawyers. The lodestar is computed by multiplying
the number of hours reasonably expended by the prevailing
hourly rate in the community for similar work.The product is the
lodestar which the district court can either accept or adjust
upward or downward, depending on the circumstances of the
case, assessing twelve relevant factors set forth in
Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express,
attorneys represented the Appellees in this case - Scott
Scofield and Phillip DeVilbiss. Staci Wheat assisted as the
paralegal. Mr. Scofield has practiced for thirty-three (33)
years and Mr. DeVilbiss has practiced for seventeen (17)
years. Depending upon the complexity of the case, Mr.
Scofield's rates range from $250 to $495 per hour,
whereas Mr. DeVilbiss' rates range from $185 to $450 per
hour. Mrs. Wheat's customary billing fee is from $100 to
$125 per hour. Appellees' counsel remarks that because
the law firm considers Appellees long-time clients, the firm
agreed to represent Appellees at the following rates:
$225 per hour
$185 per hour
$110 per hour
is no doubt that the motion to dismiss and motion for
sanctions involved complex issues as well as having to deal
with the convoluted relevant filings. The court further notes
that the favorable results obtained by Appellees preserved
their proof of claim valued at $926, 381.60.
court finds that these rates are well within the range of
prevailing market rates in the area.Appellees have provided a
detailed and itemized statement of hours billed for certain
tasks performed by the attorneys and their paralegal. Mr.
Scofield billed 22.7 hours, Mr. DeVilbiss spent 88.4 and Mrs.
Wheat incurred one (1) hour. The court further finds that the
amount of hours spent to dismiss the instant frivolous appeal
reasons set forth above, the court will not make an
adjustment to the lodestar amount, but will award
Appellees' attorney fees in the amount of $21, 571.50.
R. #11 and 12.