United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter was initially before the Court on Expeditors
Defendants' Motion to Compel Discovery Responses from
Plaintiff. Dkt. #21. The Court granted Defendants'
motion-which included a request for attorneys' fees-and
invited them to “file a properly supported request for
fees and costs.” Dkt. #25 at 3. The parties have
submitted supplemental briefing. Dkts. #26- #28. Having
considered the supplemental briefing, the Court grants in
part Defendants' Motion for Attorneys' Fees (Dkt.
motion to compel is granted under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 37(a), the court is to award “reasonable
expenses incurred in making the motion, including
attorney's fees.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5). District
courts have broad discretion to determine the reasonableness
of fees. Gates v. Deukmejian, 987 F.2d 1392, 1398
(9th Cir. 1992). In making the determination, courts
calculate the “lodestar amount, ” which is the
number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by a
reasonable hourly rate. Camacho v. Bridgeport Fin.,
Inc., 523 F.3d 973, 978 (9th Cir. 2008). The lodestar
figure is a presumptively reasonable fee award. Id.
at 977. But the court may adjust the lodestar figure up or
down based on the Kerr factors in determining a
reasonable fee. Cairns v. Franklin Mint Co., 292
F.3d 1139, 1158 (9th Cir. 2002).
counsel avers, from his “knowledge of the industry,
” that the hourly rates charged by Defendants'
attorneys are commensurate to the hourly rates charged by
other attorneys in the market “with similar levels of
experience in similar practice areas.” Dkt. #27 at
¶ 7. “Affidavits of the [party's] attorney and
other attorneys regarding prevailing fees in the community,
and rate determinations in other cases, particularly those
setting a rate for the [party's] attorney, are
satisfactory evidence of the prevailing market rate.”
United Steelworkers of Am. v. Phelps Dodge Corp.,
896 F.2d 403, 407 (9th Cir. 1990). Plaintiff does not contest
that the rates asserted are reasonable. On this limited
record, the Court will utilize the rates claimed.
Court next turns to the reasonableness of the hours charged.
“The party seeking fees bears the burden of documenting
the hours expended in the litigation and must submit evidence
supporting those hours.” Welch v. Metro. Life Ins.
Co., 480 F.3d 942, 945-46 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing
Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983)). It
is reasonable for a district court to conclude that the party
seeking attorney's fees fails to carry its burden of
documenting the hours expended when that party engages in
“block billing” because block billing makes it
more difficult to determine how much time was spent on
particular activities. Id. at 948. The district
court “should exclude any hours ‘that are
excessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary.'”
McCown v. City of Fontana, 565 F.3d 1097, 1102 (9th
Cir. 2009) (quoting Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434).
claim that Mr. Block billed “1.6 hours preparing the
Motion to Compel and the reply brief” and that Mr.
Rogers' billed “3.7 hours preparing the motion to
compel and the reply brief.” Dkt. #26 at 2-3. The Court
finds that the 0.5 hours of Mr. Block's time has been
block-billed and should be excluded. Dkt. #27 at p. 14 (block
billing 1.4 hours); Dkt. #27 at p.3, ¶ 8 (Mr. Block
estimating that 0.5 hours of that time was relevant to the
motion to compel). Further, the Court notes that this motion
to compel was particularly straight forward and essentially
conceded. The Court will accordingly exclude the 0.4 hours
Mr. Block spent and the 0.3 hours Mr. Rogers spent on the
reply as unnecessary. Lastly, the Court will further reduce
the 3.4 hours Mr. Rogers spent on the motion to compel by one
hour, finding the time excessive and that a combined 3.6
hours (1.2 hours Mr. Block and 2.4 hours Mr. Rogers)
represents a more reasonable amount of compensable time.
After making those adjustments, the Court awards fees of $1,
338.00 for preparation of the motion to compel.
also seek 4.7 billable hours related to preparation of their
motion for fees (0.3 hours for Mr. Block and 4.4 hours for
Ms. Cohen). Dkt. #26 at 3. Defendants assert simply that the
time incurred was “caused by [Plaintiff's] failure
to respond to [Defendants'] discovery requests and is
therefore compensable.” Id. (citing Thomas
v. Everett Ass'n of Credit Men, Inc., No.
C17-599RSM, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67126 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 20,
2018)). Plaintiff concedes the issue, so the Court does not
consider it here. Dkt. #28 (merely asserting that the Court
should award $750.00). But, Defendants do not provide
detailed time records related to their motion for fees. On
this record, the Court cannot determine whether the full 4.7
billable hours is reasonable. Accordingly, the Court will
award Mr. Block's 0.3 hours and allow for 1.0 hours of
Ms. Cohen's time. This results in an award of $467.50 for
preparation of the motion for attorneys' fees.
considered the motions and relevant briefing and the
remainder of the record, the Court finds and ORDERS that
Defendant's Motion for Attorneys' Fees (Dkt. #26) is
GRANTED IN PART as stated above. Plaintiff shall pay
Expeditors Defendants $1, 805.50 in attorneys' fees
within 21 days of this Order.
 Plaintiff does not actually contest
the substance of Defendants' motion beyond speculating
that that “fees in excess of $750 are unwarranted and
unfair.” Dkt. #28 at 2.
 The “Kerr
factors” refer to various considerations identified by
the Ninth Circuit in Kerr v. Screen Extras Guild,
Inc., 526 F.2d 67 (9th Cir. 1975). These factors include
(1) the time and labor required, (2) the novelty and
difficulty of the questions involved, (3) the skill required,
(4) the preclusion of other employment, (5) the customary
fee, (6) whether the fee is fixed or contingent, (7) time
limitations imposed by the client or circumstances, (8) the
amount involved and results obtained, (9) the experience,
reputation, and ability of the attorneys, (10) the
“undesirability” of the case, (11) the nature and
length of the relationship with the client, and (12) awards