United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
December 4, 2017, this Court entered judgment against
Defendant Johnny Vaughn on claims by certain Plaintiffs under
the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Court also directed
Plaintiffs to file their motion for attorney's fees and
costs., (Doc. No. 83, at 6.)
December 18, 2017, Plaintiffs submitted the affidavits of
their two attorneys, Danielle Obiorah and Teri D. Fields,
both of the law firm Obiorah Fields, LLC, in Jonesboro,
Georgia. It is well settled that the FLSA mandates an award
of reasonable attorney's fees and costs to a prevailing
plaintiff. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). An award of fees,
however, must be reasonable and fall within the guidelines
the Eleventh Circuit has promulgated. See Norman v.
Housing Auth. of Montgomery, 836 F.2d 1292
(11th Cir. 1988) . The Eleventh Circuit has
adopted the lodestar method for determining reasonable
attorney's fees. Id. at 1299-1302. The
"lodestar"- . is determined by multiplying an
attorney's reasonable hourly rate by the number of
compensable hours reasonably expended. Bivens v. Wrap It
Up, Inc., 548 F.3d 1348, 1350 (11th Cir.
2008). In determining the reasonable hourly rate and the
number of hours reasonably expended, a court should consider
the twelve Johnson factors. Bivens, 548 F.3d at
1350 n.2 (citing Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express,
Inc., 488 F.2d . 714, 717-19 (5th Cir.
1974)). The burden is on the fee : applicant, here
Plaintiffs, to establish entitlement to the requested fee and
to document the appropriate hours and hourly rates.
Norman, 836 F.2d at 1299.
determining the number of hours reasonably expended, the
Court must consider whether the work sought to be compensated
was "useful and of a type ordinarily necessary to secure
the final result obtained from the litigation."
Pennsylvania v. Del. Valley Citizens' Council for
Clean Air, 478 U.S. 546, 561 (1986) (citations omitted).
Courts must exclude hours that were "excessive,
redundant, or otherwise .. unnecessary." Hensley v.
Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 434 (1986); Plaintiffs provided
records of the hours worked in the case as, follows:
Obiorah: 161.20 hours
Fields: 37.85 hours
reviewing counsel's affidavits and billing records, the
Court finds that counsel's efforts in litigating the .
;' matter were proper, customary, and
reasonable, and there appears to be no unnecessary
duplication of effort. Accordingly, the requested hours
should be compensated as set forth above.
reasonable rate is "the prevailing market rate in the
relevant legal community for similar services by lawyers
of: . •• reasonably comparable skills,
experience, and reputation." Norman, 836 F.2d
at 1299; see also Blum v. Stenson, 465 U.S. 886,
895-96 n.22 (1984). The relevant legal community is the
district in which the Court sits, that being the Southern;
District of Georgia, Dublin Division. See Knight v.
Alabama, :824 F.Supp. 1022, 1027 n.l (N.D. Ala. 1993)
(citing Turner V. Secretary of Air Force, 944 F.2d
804, 808 (11th Cir. 1991)).. This Court has already
determined that Plaintiffs' counsel's billing rate
will be set at $275.00 per hour. (See Order of April
27, 2017, Doc. No. 58, at 4.)
the foregoing, the Court finds a lodestar to be:
Obiorah: 161.20 hours at $275.00/hour = $44, 330.00
Fields: 37.85 hours at $275.00/hour = ...