Let's get the week started right with the 11th Circuit affirming for the most part an 80% fee reduction in an employment discrimination case that went on for at least fourteen years:
We recognize that the attorney fee provision of 42 U.S.C. § 1988 is critical to ensuring that employees can vindicate their rights by finding attorneys who are willing to take their claims on a contingency basis, even where the expected recovery is not large. However, upon review of the parties’ briefs and the record before us, we find that, as a whole, the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Appellant’s counsel fees far below what she requested. First, we cannot say that the magistrate judge abused his wide discretion in setting the hourly rates for Appellant’s attorneys. See Norman v. Housing Auth. of Montgomery, 836 F.2d 1292, 1301 (11th Cir. 1988) (“It is the job of the district court in a given case to interpolate the reasonable rate based on an analysis of the skills enumerated above which were exhibited by the attorney in the case at bar . . . .”). Second, despite Appellant counsel’s claim that she eliminated 1,500 hours from the Petition, it appears that she did not conduct an hour-by-hour review to separate successful claims from unsuccessful claims, even after having been asked by the magistrate judge to do so. Further, the district court provided numerous examples where Appellant sought to recover fees related to the failed claims of other plaintiffs and identified time entries where it was impossible to determine which hours were spent on Hithon’s successful claim. Thus, we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that Appellant’s counsel failed to exercise billing judgment or in cutting Hithon’s fees by a large percentage.So, by comparison, you're already having a good day.