United States District Court, W.D. Washington
BADGLEY MULLINS TURNER PLLC, DUNCAN C. TURNER, WSBA # 20597,
ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF
OFFICE OF DANIEL R. WHITMORE, DANIEL R. WHITMORE, WSBA NO.
24012, ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR AWARD OF
ATTORNEY'S FEES AND EXPENSES
HONORABLE ROBERT S. LASNIK, JUDGE
Plaintiff has submitted authority and evidence supporting his
Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Expenses; and
WHEREAS, the Court, having considered the pleadings on file
and being fully advised, finds that good cause exists for
entry of the Order below; now, therefore, IT IS HEREBY FOUND,
ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED THAT:
Unless otherwise provided herein, all capitalized terms in
this Order shall have the same meaning as set forth in the
Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's Fees and Expenses.
Court having appointed Badgley Mullins Turner, PLLC and the
Law Offices of Daniel Whitmore as Class Counsel.
Class Counsel has requested the Court calculate their award
using the percentage-of-the-fund method. Class Counsel
request the Court award 15% of the common fund as
attorney's fees and expenses ($172, 000.00.)
These requested attorney's fees are fair and reasonable
under RCW 49.48.030 and the Ordinance (“Sea Tac
Municipal Code Chapter 7.45”) based on the
percentage-of-the-fund method. The Court reaches this
conclusion after analyzing: (1) the results Class Counsel
achieved; (2) Class Counsel's risk in this litigation;
(3) the complexity of the issues presented; (4) the hours
Class Counsel worked on the case; (5) Class Counsel's
hourly rate; (6) the contingent nature of the fee; and (7)
awards made in similar cases.
Class Counsel has submitted authority and declarations to
support the Court's lodestar cross-check.
Class Counsel reasonably expended more than one-hundred
twenty hours on the investigation, preparation, filing, and
settlement of Plaintiff's Claims. Their detailed time
records are based on contemporaneous records of hours worked.
Class Counsel exercised billing judgment and billed
Class Counsel's hourly rates - $565.00 for Duncan Turner,
$495.00 for Daniel Whitmore, and $310.00 for Mark Trivett -
are reasonable hourly rates considering their individual
“experience, skill, and reputation, ” see
Trevino v. Gates, 99 F.3d 911, 924 (9th Cir. 1996) and
the prevailing market rates in this jurisdiction. See
Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 886, 895 (1984).
Applying these rates to the number of hours reasonable
expended in litigation, Class Counsel's lodestar is
approximately $73, 350.50. This lodestar reflects work and
expenses that was reasonable and necessarily expended on the
pursuing Plaintiffs' claims and that are estimated to
occur in concluding the case.
Based on the risk Class Counsel faced in litigating the
certified questions and the quality of the work they
performed, this Court finds a lodestar multiplier of
approximately 2.3 is fair and reasonable.
lodestar multiplier is appropriate in this case based on the
risk factor. See Carlson v. Lake Chelan Cmty. Hosp.,
116 Wn.App. 718, 742-43, 75 P.3d 533 (2003) (affirming
application of 1.5 multiplier to lodestar); Vizcaino v.
Microsoft Corp., 290 F.3d 1043, 1052-54 (9th Cir. 2002)
(approving multiplier of 3.65); Steiner v. Am. Broad.
Co., 248 Fed.Appx. 780, 783 (9th Cir. 2007) (approving
multiplier of 6.85), Craft v. Cnty. of San
Bernardino, 624 F.Supp.2d 1113, 1125 (C.D. Cal. 2008)
(approving multiplier of 5.2 and stating, “there is
ample authority for such awards resulting in multipliers in
this range or higher.” Here, Plaintiffs pursued the
action under a remedial Washington employment statute and a
local minimum wage ordinance. Class Counsel pursued this
action on a contingency fee basis and assumed the risk that
if they were unsuccessful, they would receive no compensation