through 1991, and a $ 200 per hour rate after 1991. Item 126, PP 12-19. The Civil Rights Act was amended in 1991 to allow prevailing parties to charge the federal government interest on unpaid legal fees. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16(d)(effective November 21, 1991). Mr. Price asserts that under the circumstances, including delay in payment and the difficulty of the case, the $ 200 per hour rate is the minimum rate which should fairly and reasonably be applied to all hours.
If the $ 175 per hour rate is accepted, the total attorney fee computation would be $ 297,342.50. If the combined historic market rate/$ 200 per hour fee is applied, the total attorney fee computation would be $ 306,743.00. If the $ 200 per hour rate is accepted, the total attorney fee computation would amount to $ 339,820.00. Mr. Price also claims expenses and disbursements in the amount of $ 14,785.77, and that amount is not disputed by the defendant. Mr. Price also requests reasonable attorney fees and expenses for the time expended to complete this application, but to date no affidavit has been supplied to the court setting forth this calculation. Item 115.
I. Lodestar calculation
In this circuit, the starting point of every fee award is a calculation of the of the attorney's services in terms of the time expended on the case. City of Detroit v. Grinnell Corp., 495 F.2d 448, 470 (2d Cir. 1974). To calculate the lodestar amount, the court multiplies the number of hours reasonably expended by a reasonable hourly rate to establish the fee award. Id. at 470-71. Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 76 L. Ed. 2d 40, 103 S. Ct. 1933 (1983).
A. Objections to Mr. Price's records
A fee application must be supported by contemporaneous time records which describe with specificity the work done. New York Ass'n. for Retarded Child., Inc. v. Carey, 711 F.2d 1136, 1148 (2d Cir. 1983). The "burden is on counsel to keep and present records from which the court may determine the nature of the work done, the need for it, and the amount of time reasonably required; where adequate contemporaneous records have not been kept, the court should not award the full amount requested." F.H. Krear & Co. v. Nineteen Named Trustees, 810 F.2d 1250, 1265 (2d Cir. 1987).
1. Were plaintiff's records made contemporaneously?
"The rule in this Circuit prohibits the submission of reconstructed records, where no contemporaneous records have been kept." Lenihan v. City of New York, 640 F. Supp. 822, 824 (S.D.N.Y. 1986)(emphasis in original). A party may, however, submit typewritten transcriptions of contemporaneous records. Id. In addition, a party may offer explanations of contemporaneous records, based on personal knowledge. U.S. Football League v. National Football League, 704 F. Supp. 474, 477 (S.D.N.Y. 1989).
As noted, plaintiff has submitted to the court a "Statement of Itemized Services," detailing the hours spent on the case. Items 115, Ex. B, and 134, Ex. B. Plaintiff's counsel avers that the statement was prepared directly from plaintiff's own handwritten entries in a daily log of activities. However, the manner in which Mr. Price kept his time records is unusual, since in one log or diary record he kept daily handwritten records not only for this case, but also for other cases, and his own personal and business activities. Therefore, to prepare Exhibit B, he had to review his log and cull out matters which did not apply. Mr. Price has submitted a handwritten, redacted copy of his entries pertaining to this case for the year 1991, but not for other years. Therefore, the defense has been able to compare handwritten entries for 1991 with his typed compilations contained in Exhibit B, but has not been able to make a similar comparison for other years. Plaintiff has refused to present a redacted version of the entire log, claiming that such an exercise would be "mindless busy work, would take up a great deal of time, and would be unnecessary to the fee claim." Item 134.
Defendant argues that plaintiff's fee application should be denied because Mr. Price has not produced original, contemporaneous time records. Defendant has refused to examine the unredacted records under a condition that it enter into a confidentiality agreement regarding the unrelated information in Mr. Price's diary. The government says that it "cannot and will not enter into an open-ended agreement which might jeopardize the defense of future cases." Item 137 at 3.
In considering this application, the court will take into account that through the years it has had numerous contacts with Mr. Price in other litigation. Mr. Price has always been trustworthy and accurate in every presentation made to the court. However, the court cannot ignore the fact that because of the manner in which he kept his records, defense counsel and the court have been denied the ability to fairly review his calculations. The court will also consider that a good portion of the work accomplished in this case was completed in 1991, which is the year in which he has presented a copy of his redacted entry (Item 134, Ex. O). The court is also familiar with the work done in this case during 1991, because supervision of discovery was not referred to United States Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio until February 10, 1992 (Item 58). Therefore, the court is familiar with the course of litigation during that period.
It is also apparent that after that time, the motions handled by the Magistrate Judge were important and difficult and required close attention of plaintiff's attorney. Further, an item-by-item comparison of the log entries in the "statement of itemized services" as described in paragraphs 16-18 in Exhibit R of Item 134 demonstrates that the statement of itemized services for that period sufficiently summarizes the hours expended and services performed. The discrepancies in the 1991 account are minor. Unfortunately, after considering all of the circumstances, the court must make a reduction in the fee application.
2. The court must also make a reduction for vagueness
The Supreme Court has observed that "counsel, of course, is not required to record in great detail how each minute of his time was expended[,] but at least counsel should identify the general subject matter of his time expenditures." Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. at 437 n.12 (1983).
The defense does not argue that there was not substantial work on the case. Rather, the defense claims that it is impossible to determine what activities Mr. Price participated in from his statement of itemized services, and that the fee should be adjusted accordingly.
A sample of the entries of which defense complains include:
Date Entry Hours
01-27-92 Meet w/ James .25
TC:GG (2) Message .40
Various Jackson tasks .75
01-27-92 Various Jackson tasks .75
01-30-92 TC:Mary Martin Mercato
01-31-92 TC:Larie(re fax) for .25
02-15-92 Work on afternotes
05-08-92 Continue review 5/7 doc .75
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