Thursday, July 18, 2013

Magistrate Judge Torres on Miami: It Ain't New York!


Here's an interesting opinion from Magistrate Judge Torres awarding defendants attorney's fees for opposing a copyright infringement claim.

The Court weighed the discretionary factors and decided fees were appropriate, but issued this cautionary warning:
Moreover, though it is a safe bet that the parties’ counsel would have known to consult it in the course of preparation of their fee petition, for the sake of time and convenience we refer the parties to our decision in Hermosilla v. Coca-Cola Co., 2011 WL 9364952 (S.D. Fla. July 15, 2011), which will have a bearing especially on the hourly rates that the Court will approve in this case. In short, do not ask for “New York” billing rates. And for any hourly rates included in the application, biographical materials for each timekeeper should be included.
To be safe, don't even ask for "Hoboken, New Jersey" billing rates.

Stay away from the boroughs.

Get out of Philly, avoid Baltimore, head south of DC, make a brief stop at "South of the Border," now you're getting warmer.......

19 comments:

Shoot The Lawyers said...

And don't forget to adhere to this cardinal rule of attorney fees when the opposing party has to pay: charge not what your client actually agreed to pay you or will pay you but the highest amount you can possibly get away while at the same time using the whole fee process as a punitive gesture to stick it to opposing counsel who you always hated anyway.

Edward OCD said...

My firm bills me at $325/hour which I think is pretty good.

As an example of the daily demons I struggle with, I like to (actually have to) go to the starbucks at 10:45 and I order the same thing: tall cafe americano with one shot of vanilla on even days and one shot of caramel on odd days and one shot of raspberry on days that are prime numbers. Anyway, they always ask the same thing "leave room for milk or cream?" Well, here is the problem: I take my coffee black, but I can only drink out of cups or containers that are exactly half full to begin with. Thus, I precisely answer the question "NO" since I don't want room for milk or cream. I do want a half a cup for my own reasons, but the time it takes to tell them is not worth it. So I say no, but at least one barrista has seen me pour out half the cup and made a disparaging comment. So now I have a problem when I go into my starbucks at 10:45 every week day.

Anonymous said...

SFL, I am shocked and dismayed that you have not posted about the malpractice lawsuit against Becker & Poliakoff. Not that I care about B&P, but the pinup girl is fantastic. http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/PubArticleDBR.jsp?id=1202611167617&Becker_amp_Poliakoff_Miami_Attorney_Sued_After_Client_Loses_All_To_PinUp_ExWife

Godwhacker said...

Any billing that doesn't include a first born child is a ripoff.

Anonymous said...

Edward OCD: I love it. Keep posting.

Anonymous said...

My favorite line about excessive fee requests comes from Urisic v. Bethlehem Mines, 710 F. 2d 670 (3d Cir. 1983), in which the Court wrote: "Michelangelo should not charge Sistine Chapel rates for painting a farmer's barn." In this instance, it sounds like a bunch of barn-painters thought they could get away with charging Sistine Chapel-ceiling rates.

Oh, and although you can't charge New Yawk rates in South Florida, you CAN get a good bagel down here. They are hard to find, but they do exist.

Anonymous said...

What's up w the hearing examiners in sdfl citing to their own unpublished orders or even published orders? It's akin to referring to oneself in the third person and smacks of needing to feel more significant.

Anonymous said...

Royal "we" employed throughout

Anonymous said...

IMHO if you can't get opposing counsel to at least concede to the reasonableness of your hourly rates (and fight about the number of hours billed), you're doing it wrong.

Anonymous said...

Marty Steinberg charges my rates

Old Guy said...

I'm a retired old guy. Firm long since dead and broken up. Sitting home watching first round of British Open. I remember back in 60's-70's we civil plaintiff guys would charter a plane a few times a year and fly judges to Augusta for the Masters, to the US open, and even across the pond for the British Open. Back then 50,000 which was a hell of a lot of money would cover the plane, the rooms, the scotch, the girls, whatever the guys wanted. I can't even think of one judge on the bench today that would have fit in. A few firms would split the costs and what did it buy us?
Well, I remember some big lawsuit against some chemical companies. And they come into court with a bunch of fancy blue wool suit lawyers from New York and Delaware and we're just wearing our searsuckers and straw hats and the like and by the time they looked up for air, we were getting over a million in attorneys fees. And I remember when it went up, and I had two of three guys on the panel with me at Augusta, I was already spending my money.
It was a simpler time back then. You invested in people, and they paid off, and everyone was happy and who cared if Monsanto some other company lost a few million? They barely noticed it, and we sent our kids to school, and built vacation homes and bought boats and enjoyed our lives. These days? We'd get thrown in the pokey. Glad I worked when I did. You guys can have your iPads and your bar rules.

Anonymous said...

I am not as old as old guy, but a I remember a time in the late 70's, early 80's when the depos I set on Friday and the court reporter I used were a direct result of who I wanted to party with at the Mutiny on Friday night and whether I was up for her spending the weekend.
Those were the days.

Anonymous said...

Here here for Old Guy. Courts need to spread that corporate wealth around.

Edward OCD said...

I am truly compelled to report that the rainfall yesterday- 6.78 inches shattered the record set in 1985:1.42.for rainfall on July 18.

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