United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
JOHN R. BUND II, Plaintiff,
SAFEGUARD PROPERTIES, LLC, Defendant.
ORDER ON ATTORNEYS' FEES
L. ROBART United States District Judge.
the court is Plaintiffs John R. Bund II, Mandy Hanousek, and
Garett Hanousek's motion for an award of attorneys'
fees. (Mot. (Dkt. # 59).) Defendant Safeguard Properties, LLC
("Safeguard") opposes the amount of fees that
Plaintiffs seek. (Resp. (Dkt. # 61), ) Plaintiffs' reply
and accompanying exhibits provide further support for the
award of fees. (Reply (Dkt. # 63).) The court has considered
the parties' submissions, the relevant portions of the
record, and the applicable law. Considering itself fully
advised,  the court grants in part and denies in
part Plaintiffs' motion for attorney's fees and costs
as described herein.
bring a putative class action against Safeguard alleging
claims for trespass (SAC (Dkt. # 44) ¶¶ 7.1-7.7),
intentional trespass under RCW 4.24.630 (id.
¶¶ 8.1-8, 15), violation of the Washington Consumer
Protection Act ("CPA"), RCW ch. 19.86 (id.
¶¶ 9.1-9.9), and conversion (id.
¶¶ 10.1-10.9). Plaintiffs seek to recover for
damages to real and personal property allegedly incurred
while Safeguard was conducting property preservation services
on behalf of Plaintiffs' lenders. (Generally
filed a motion to dismiss the class claims. (MTD (Dkt. #
14).) The court denied the motion to dismiss and ruled that
pre-discovery dismissal of class allegations was not proper
in this case. (12/30/16 Order (Dkt. # 43).) Despite this
order, Safeguard filed a motion to disqualify and remove the
Hanouseks as class representatives prior to conducting
sufficient discovery. (See DQ Mot. (Dkt. # 49).) The
court denied the motion to disqualify, and because the motion
filed was contray to the coury's previous order,
permitted Plaintiffs to file a motion for costs incurred in
responding to Safeguard's motion to disqualify.
(See Min, Entry (Dkt. # 58).)
moved for fees consistent with the court's minute entry.
(.See generally Mot). Safeguard asserts that the
requested fees are not reasonable. (Resp.) The court now
addresses Plaintiffs' motion.
determine whether requested fees are reasonable, the court
applies the lodestar method. See Hensley v.
Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983). Under this method,
the court first determines a lodestar figure by multiplying
the number of hours reasonably spent on the litigation by a
reasonable hourly rate. Id. The court "may then
adjust this lodestar calculation by other factors."
Blanchard v. Bergeron, 489 U.S. 87, 94 (1989),
"The fee applicant bears the burden of documenting the
appropriate hours expended in the litigation and must submit
evidence in support of those hours worked." Welch v.
Metro. Life Ins. Co., 480 F.3d 942, 948 (9th Cir. 2007).
reasonable hourly rate corresponds to the prevailing market
rate in the relevant community considering the experience,
skill, and reputation of the attorneys in question.
Chalmers v. City of LA., 796 F!2d 1205, 1210 (9th
Cir. 1986), amended on other grounds, 808
F.2d 1373 (9th Cir. 1987). In assessing whether the attorneys
spent a reasonable number of hours on the litigation, courts
may consider, among other factors: the time and labor
required, novelty and difficulty of the questions involved,
the skill necessary to perform the legal services properly,
the time limitations imposed by the client or circumstances,
the amount in controversy involved and the results obtained,
and the experience, reputation, and ability of the attorneys.
LaFarge Conseils et Etudes, S.A. v. Kaiser
Cement & Gypsum Corp., 791 F.2d 1334, 1341-42 (9th
Cir. 1986) (citing Kerr v. Screen Extra Guild,
Inc., 526 F.2d 67, 69-70 (9th Cir. 1975)). The court
need only apply those factors that are relevant to the
particular case. See Kerr, 526 F.2d at 70.
request the $7, 457.75 in attorney's fees for 29 hours of
work performed by three attorneys, Clay M. Gatens, Sally F.
White, and Devon A. Gray, billed at rates ranging from
$205.00 to $330.00 an hour. (Mot. at 2.) In support of their
instant motion, Plaintiffs submit a Matter Ledger Report
("the Report") detailing the fees attributed to the
motion to disqualify. (See White Decl. (Dkt. # 60),
Ex. A.) Upon review of the billing record, the court
concludes that Plaintiffs are entitled to most but not all of
the fees they request.