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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:02 am 
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Slip Copy, 2006 WL 894914 (S.D.Fla.)


United States District Court,
S.D. Florida.
Steven ARMSTRONG, an individual, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CADLE COMPANY, an Ohio corporation, as general partner of Dan Joint Venture
III, L.P., an Ohio limited partnership Defendant.
No. 05-60359-CIV-COHN, 05-603590CIV-SNOW.
April 3, 2006.

****

C. Attorney's Fees
In his Response [DE 39], Plaintiff seeks attorneys fees and costs associated with the instant Motion for Enlargement pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(3). Defendant did not file a reply, or otherwise respond to Plaintiff's request for attorney's fees, and the time to file a reply has passed. Section 1692k(a)(3) states in relevant part, "[i]n the case of any successful action to enforce the foregoing liability, [plaintiff may recover] the costs of the action, together with a reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court." Plaintiff was successful in proving that Defendant violated the FDCPA. Therefore, Plaintiff is entitled to an award of reasonable attorneys fees.
In the Court's March 2, 2006 Order Granting Attorney's Fees, the Court determined that $275.00 was a reasonable hourly rate for the work of Plaintiff's counsel in this case [DE 35]. In the Court's experience, two hours is a reasonable amount of time to spend responding to the Motion for Extension, Therefore, rather than cause the parties to incur additional fees litigating the amount of fees to be awarded for time spent responding to the Motion for Enlargement, the Court will award Plaintiff $550.00, which corresponds to 2 hours of work at $275.00 per hour.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:
1. Defendant The Cadle Company's Motion for Enlargement of Time [DEs 37, 38] is DENIED.
2. Plaintiff Steven Armstrong shall recover $550.00 in attorney's fees for time spent responding to Defendant's Motion for Enlargement of Time.
DONE AND ORDERED.
S.D.Fla.,2006.
Armstrong v. The Cadle Co.
Slip Copy, 2006 WL 894914 (S.D.Fla.)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:10 am 
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Slip Copy, 2006 WL 540330 (S.D.Fla.)


United States District Court,
S.D. Florida.
Steven ARMSTRONG, an individual, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CADLE COMPANY, an Ohio corporation, as general partner of DAN Joint Venture
III, L.P., an Ohio limited partnership Defendants.
No. 05-60359-CIV-COHN, 05-60359-CIV-SNOW.
March 2, 2006.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR AWARD OF ATTORNEY'S FEES

COHN, J.
*1 THIS CAUSE is before the Court upon Plaintiff's Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Costs [DE 32]. Defendant did not file a response. The Court has carefully reviewed the Motion and supporting documents [DEs 33, 34], and is otherwise fully advised in the premises.

I. BACKGROUND
On March 10, 2005, Plaintiff filed this action alleging that Defendant violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") and Fla. Stat. § 559, the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act ("FCCPA"). A jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff, finding that Defendant violated both the FDCPA and the FCCPA. This Court subsequently entered Final Judgment in favor of Plaintiff in the amount of $2,750.00. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(3), Plaintiff now seeks an award of reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

II. ANALYSIS
"The so-called 'American Rule' governing the award of attorneys' fees in litigation in the federal court is that attorneys' fees 'are not ordinarily recoverable in the absence of a statute or enforceable contract providing therefor." ' F.D. Rich Co., Inc. v. United States, 417 U.S. 116, 126, 94 S.Ct. 2157, 40 L.Ed.2d 703 (1974) (quoting Fleischmann Distilling Corp. v. Maier Brewing Co., 386 U.S. 714, 717, 87 S.Ct. 1404, 18 L.Ed.2d 475 (1967)). In this case, Plaintiff is seeking attorney's fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(3) which states in relevant part, "[I]n the case of any successful action to enforce the foregoing liability, [plaintiff may recover] the costs of the action. together with a reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court." Plaintiff was successful in proving that Defendant violated the FDCPA. Therefore, Plaintiff is entitled to an award of reasonable attorneys fees.
Local Rule 7.3 provides in relevant part:
Any motion for attorneys fees: must specify the judgment and the statute, rule, or other grounds entitling the moving party to the award; must state the amount or provide a fair estimate of the amount sought; shall disclose the terms of any agreement with respect to fees to be paid for the services for which the claim is made; shall be supported with a detailed description of hours reasonably expended, the hourly rate and its basis, and a detailed description of all reimbursable expenses; shall be verified; and, along with an affidavit of an expert witness, shall be filed and served within 30 days of entry of Final Judgment or other appealable order that gives rise to a right to attorneys fees. Any such motion shall be accompanied by a certification that counsel has fully reviewed the time records and supporting data and that the motion is well grounded in fact and justified.... Prior to filing a motion for attorney's fees or bill to tax costs, counsel shall confer with opposing counsel and make a certified statement in the motion or bill in accordance with Local Rule 7.1.A.3.
Local Rule 7.3.
Pursuant to Local Rule 7.3, Plaintiffs' counsel certified the following: (1) Plaintiff's claim for attorney's fees is based on 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(3); (2) Using the lodestar formula, Plaintiff seeks $24,000.00 in attorney's fees for 87.80 hours of work, as set forth with particularity; (3) Attorney Donald A. Yarbrough, serving as an expert witness, fully reviewed the time records and supporting data, and through affidavit, states that 87 hours is a reasonable time to expend on this type of litigation and that $275.00 is a reasonable hourly rate; (4) Plaintiff's counsel, attorney Robert W. Murphy, fully reviewed the time records and supporting data, and through affidavit, states that Plaintiff's motion is well grounded in fact and justified; (5) Counsel for Plaintiff and Defendants were unable to resolve the issues relating to Plaintiff's Motion. The Motion fails to certify the type of agreement between Plaintiff's counsel and Plaintiff regarding the payment of fees. However, a review of the hourly time records shows that Plaintiff was not billed for any fees, and the Court can therefore conclude that there was a contingency fee agreement. Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently complied with Local Rule 7.3.
*2 Plaintiff seeks an hourly fee of $275.00 for work by counsel. The records submitted by Plaintiff indicate that all work for Plaintiff was completed by Robert W. Murphy, Esq. The Court finds that this hourly rate is reasonable.
Plaintiff has submitted detailed billing records showing that Robert W. Murphy worked for a total of 80.87 hours, which corresponds to $24,145.00 in fees. Plaintiff is seeking $24,000.00 in fees. Plaintiff's itemized fee statement includes 15.20 hours in trial, 20.00 hours for travel to and attending depositions of Defendant's corporate designees in Warren, Ohio, and 52.80 hours on other litigation related matters such as research, drafting pleadings, and communications with client. After conducting an independent review of Mr. Murphy's entries, the Court concludes that the time billed is reasonable. Defendant has not provided the Court with any argument to the contrary.
Plaintiff also requests an award of $2,012.57 in costs and litigation expenses. Plaintiff supports this request with a sworn affidavit and a detailed and itemized list of the expenses. The Court finds the expenses reasonable and Defendant has provided no argument to the contrary.

III. CONCLUSION
Based on the foregoing. It Is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:
1. Plaintiff's Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Costs [DE 32] is hereby GRANTED.
2. Plaintiff Steven Armstrong shall recover $26,012.57 plus interest thereon at the rate of 4.72% per annum from the date of the Final Judgment Taxing Fees and Costs.
3. Final judgment will be entered in a separate order.
DONE AND ORDERED.
S.D.Fla.,2006.
Armstrong v. The Cadle Co.
Slip Copy, 2006 WL 540330 (S.D.Fla.)


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