denying it recovery of attorneys' fees for hours worked. For the reasons stated above, this Court finds that Judge Roberts did not abuse her discretion in denying the multiplier sought by Kelley Drye. Also for the reasons stated above, Judge Roberts did err in failing to permit Kelley Drye to recover fees for opposing the fee applications of Vladeck and Lovell. Accordingly, this Court finds that Kelley Drye was entitled to the $ 12,400 in time charges that were incurred in opposing Vladeck's and Lovell's fee applications.
Kelley Drye further asserts that Judge Roberts abused her discretion in reducing Kelley Drye's fees below its lodestar figure based on deficiencies in its fee application. Kelley Drye observes that there is a strong presumption that the lodestar figure represents the reasonable fee in common fund cases. See Grant v. Martinez, 973 F.2d 96 (2d Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 113 S. Ct. 978, 122 L. Ed. 2d 132 (1993). Kelley Drye argues that the plain purpose of the downward departure from the lodestar was to make room in the attorneys' fee fund for Vladeck's and Lovell's fee request, and that this was a clear abuse of discretion.
This Court is troubled by the items that Judge Roberts lists as deficiencies in Kelley Drye's fee application.
For example, Judge Roberts indicates that she was distressed by the fact that Kelley Drye sought fees for services performed over a 14-month period that total more than 40% of Mehle's fees for more than five years of work. Yet, Kelley Drye is a large firm which supplied a team of lawyers and which was retained specifically because its expertise was needed to meet the demands of preparing for an imminent trial. This Court also notes that most of the deficiencies highlighted by Judge Roberts could have been easily cured if some notice had been provided to Kelley Drye about additional required submissions. This Court also finds that Judge Roberts committed reversible error in deducting from Kelley Drye's fees an arbitrary amount that purportedly accrued to the sole benefit of Dubin as an individual.
While Judge Roberts acted within her discretion in reducing the amount awarded to Kelley Drye, the amount deducted was too large. Accordingly, this Court finds that Kelley Drye's lodestar should have been reduced by 5% rather than the 25% subtracted by Judge Roberts.
E. Redistribution of Fees
For the reasons stated above, Mehle is entitled to the additional amount that results from an application of the 1.25 multiplier to his pre-class complaint fees of $ 77,456.25. This equals $ 96,820.31, which is an additional $ 19,364.06. To this amount must be added the $ 17,500 in time charges that Mehle incurred in opposing Vladeck's and Lovell's fee applications. In sum, Mehle is entitled to the additional amount of $ 36,864.06.
Also for the reasons stated above, Kelley Drye is entitled to a 5% reduction of its lodestar rather than the 25% reduction employed by Judge Roberts. As a consequence, Kelley Drye should have received $ 253,969.86 rather than $ 200,502.52, or an increase of $ 53,467.34. Furthermore, Kelley Drye is equally entitled to the $ 12,400 in time charges that it incurred in opposing Vladeck's and Lovell's fee applications. In sum, Kelley Drye is entitled to the additional amount of $ 65,867.34.
Although the fees awarded to Kelley Drye and to Mehle have been increased, total attorneys' fees for pre-settlement activities do not exceed the $ 1,380,917.55 noticed to the Dubin class. Specifically, Mehle is entitled to $ 764,373.43 for pre-settlement activities; Kelley Drye is entitled to $ 253,969.86 for pre-settlement activities; Vladeck is entitled to $ 250,000; and Lovell is entitled to $ 85,000. This equals a total of $ 1,353,343.29 in attorneys' fees, and this sum is $ 27,574.26 less than was noticed to the class.
Thus, the final allocation of fees and expenses is as follows - Dubin: $ 87,562.41; Mehle: $ 787,910.05; Kelley Drye: $ 283,534.08; Vladeck: $ 250,000.00; and Lovell: $ 85,000.00.
For the reasons stated above, fees and expenses are awarded from the settlement fund as follows - Dubin: $ 87,562.41; Mehle: $ 787,910.05; Kelley Drye: $ 283,534.08; Vladeck: $ 250,000.00; and Lovell: $ 85,000.00.
Dated: February 6, 1995
New York, New York
Peter K. Leisure