Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Methodology for Computing Attorney’s Fees — Inherent Power Sanctions

From Mr. Rooter Corp. v. Mr. Plumber, Rooter & Plumbing Servs., LLC, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85836 (D. Nev. Oct. 6, 2008):

The federal court has inherent power to levy sanctions, including attorneys' fees, for "willful disobedience of a court order." Roadway Express v. Piper, 447 U.S. 752, 766 (1980).... [D]espite the court's repeated attempts, Defendants have failed to abide by the terms of the court's Order of Final Judgment and Order to Compel Sanctions. In light of the court's earlier findings, Defendants' repeated failure to comply with this court's orders, and the lack of opposition to the motion for attorneys' fees and costs, the court finds that an award of attorneys' fees and costs is appropriate in this case.

As outlined in Morales v. City of San Rafael, to determine a reasonable attorneys' fee, the following procedure is followed: (1) determine the number of hours the prevailing party reasonably expended on the litigation; (2) determine the reasonable hourly rate; (3) multiply the number of hours by the hourly rate to determine the "lodestar," and (4) if necessary, adjust the lodestar in light of factors not already taken into account. 2 96 F.3d 359, 363-65 (9th Cir. 1995); Schneider v. Elko County Sheriff's Dep't, 17 F. Supp. 2d 1162, 1166 (D. Nev. 1998). The factors set out in Local Rule 54-16 ("LR 54-16") guide the court's analysis. See Schneider, 17 F. Supp. 2d at 1166.

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