submitted to the Court (a notice of motion, approximately 15 pages of legal memoranda, and approximately 5 pages of affidavits) do not support an award of this magnitude. Therefore, Anderson's hours should be reduced by 50%.
Accordingly, Anderson will be compensated for 14.1 hours at $ 150 per hour for a total award of $ 2,115.00.
Taylor spent a total of 233.7 hours on this case. This time can be divided roughly into two categories: (1) approximately 205.1 hours drafting the complaint; and (2) approximately 28.6 hours on other matters. Plaintiff's attorney, in the exercise of billing judgment, reduced by 30% (or 70.11 hours) Taylor's billable hours to 163.59. Assuming this reduction was taken off the complaint preparation, Taylor now requests reimbursement for 134.99 hours spent drafting the complaint and 28.6 hours on other matters.
The complaint in this action, which was approximately 50 pages in length, involved 8 distinct causes of action. While such an undertaking would require considerable attention, I find that 134.99 hours is excessive. The complaint was not a model of clarity and it is not at all clear that such a lengthy complaint was necessary. Rule 8, of course, directs that the complaint be "a short and plain" statement of the claim. This exorbitant billing on the part of Taylor may have resulted from her inexperience in this area. Although Taylor graduated from law school in 1982, her resume--submitted to the Court for the purposes of this motion--does not indicate any prior litigation experience. Her background appears to have been in accounting. I find that it would be reasonable for a litigation associate to spend approximately 50 hours to draft a complaint with some partner supervision and paralegal support. Therefore, Taylor will be compensated for 50 hours of work on the complaint.
With respect to the remaining 28.6 hours billed by Taylor, I find that some of these hours are inappropriate or excessive. For example, according to a vague time entry on January 22, 1992, Taylor apparently billed 36 minutes to review a file to locate a telephone number. Further, there are multiple entries for "Review Mrs. Berry's case." I find that these remaining hours should be reduced by 10%. Therefore, Taylor should be compensated for 25.74 additional hours.
Accordingly, Taylor will be compensated for 75.74 hours at $ 100 per hour, for a total award of $ 7,574.00.
Plaintiff requests reimbursement for 64 hours of worked performed by paralegal Iris Cobb. Cobb spent the majority of her time drafting, reviewing, and revising the complaint. She also spent some time drafting, reviewing, and revising the opposition to the motion for transfer of venue, the motion for default, and discovery requests. While it is expected that a paralegal will assist attorneys on these matters, I find that the worked billed for by Cobb is excessive and by in large duplicative of the work performed by the attorneys in this case. Further, to the extent Cobb billed for work on the motion to transfer venue, I already have found that this work is not compensable. I, therefore, find it appropriate to reduce Cobb's request by 40%.
Accordingly, Cobb will be compensated for 38.4 hours of work at $ 50 per hour for a total of $ 1,920.
Plaintiff also requests $ 3,442.90 in costs. No documentation has been provided to the Court to justify these expenses. Further, I find them to be somewhat excessive. For example, nearly $ 1,500 is being charged for photocopying. Further, approximately $ 1,100 is charged for unspecified "travel." Therefore, these costs should be reduced by 25%, for a total award of $ 2,582.18.
For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff's motion for attorney's fees and costs, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988, is granted in part, and plaintiff is awarded $ 68,431.18. That sum shall be paid to the plaintiff by defendants within thirty (30) days of the entry of this order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DAVID G. LARIMER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Dated: Rochester, New York
December 6, 1996