The court notes that the Abou-Khadra Parties have filed no opposition to this motion.
I. Reasonable Attorney's Fee
Under the "American System" each party in a lawsuit usually bears the burden of paying its own attorney's fees and costs. Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 429-30, 76 L. Ed. 2d 40, 103 S. Ct. 1933 (1983); Alyeska Pipeline Serv. Co. v. Wilderness Soc., 421 U.S. 240, 247, 44 L. Ed. 2d 141, 95 S. Ct. 1612 (1975). Certain statutes, however, provide that the successful party may recover such fees and costs from the adverse party. Alyeska, 421 U.S. at 247-271. The Bseirani Parties rely upon section 1964(c) of RICO as the basis for their request.
In relevant part this statute provides that: "any person injured in his business or property by reason of a violation of section 1962 of this chapter may sue therefor in any appropriate United States district court and shall recover threefold the damages he sustains and the cost of the suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee." 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c). An applicant for an award under § 1964(c) bears the burden of establishing entitlement to such an award and documenting the appropriate hours expended and the hourly rates. Hensley, 461 U.S. at 424. Therefore, the court initially must inquire whether the Bseirani Parties properly have demonstrated their entitlement to recovery pursuant to § 1964(c). If such entitlement has been established, the court will then analyze the submitted hours and requested rates to determine the final award.
II. Entitlement to Award
To establish entitlement to an award under § 1964(c), a movant must demonstrate that he is a prevailing party. Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433; see also Lyte v. Sara Lee Corp., 950 F.2d 101, 103 (2d Cir. 1991). To be considered a prevailing party for the purposes of such an award, a movant must demonstrate success "on any significant issue in litigation which achieves some of the benefit the parties sought in bringing the suit." Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433; see also Bridges v. Eastman Kodak Co., 102 F.3d 56 (2d Cir. 1996); Carroll v. Blinken, 42 F.3d 122, 129 (2d Cir. 1994).
Here, there is no question that the Bseirani Parties are prevailing parties against both the Abou-Khadra Parties and Mr. Mahshie. The Bseirani Parties' counterclaims were resolved in two trials that resulted in jury findings that the Abou-Khadra Parties and Mr. Mahshie had violated RICO. The findings of both trials were affirmed on appeal. Abou-Khadra, 4 F.3d 1071; Bseirani, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 180, 1997 WL 3632. Accordingly, the court concludes that the Bseirani Parties have demonstrated entitlement to an award under § 1964(c).
III. Determination of Award
Having determined that the Bseirani Parties are prevailing parties, the court moves to the determination of an appropriate award. The responsibility for performing the analysis necessary to determine a fee award falls to the trial court. Bingham v. Zolt, 66 F.3d 553, 565 (2d Cir. 1995). This court is aware, however, the it should not "become enmeshed in a meticulous analysis of every detailed facet of the professional representation." Seigal v. Merrick, 619 F.2d 160, 164 n. 8 (2d Cir. 1980) (quoting Lindy Bros. Building, Inc. v. American Radiator & Standard Sanitary Corp., 540 F.2d 102, 116 (3d Cir. 1976)). As the Supreme Court has indicated, "a request for attorney's fees should not result in a second major litigation." Hensley, 461 U.S. at 437.
An initial reasonable fee is determined by multiplying the number of hours reasonably expended by the hourly rate customarily charged for similar litigation by attorneys of the same skill in the area. United States Football League v. National Football League, 887 F.2d 408, 413 (2d Cir. 1989); City of Detroit v. Grinnell Corp., 560 F.2d 1093, 1098 (2d Cir. 1977). The product of these figures is referred to as the "lodestar" amount. United States Football League, 887 F.2d at 415. As the Supreme Court has explained, "this amount provides an objective basis on which to make an initial estimate of the value of the lawyer's services." Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433. Although, this figure ultimately may be adjusted upward or downward, there is a strong presumption that the lodestar figure represents a "reasonable" amount. Pennsylvania v. Delaware Valley Citizens' Council for Clean Air, 478 U.S. 546, 565, 92 L. Ed. 2d 439, 106 S. Ct. 3088 (1986).
A. Determination of Reasonable Hours
The first step in the calculation of a lodestar amount is to determine the reasonableness of the hours billed by the prevailing party's counsel. Fundamental to this determination is the submission of time records showing the hours spent by the attorney in pursuit of his client's claims.
To establish the number of hours spent on the successful prosecution of their RICO claims, the Bseirani Parties have submitted computer generated billing records covering the work of forty-seven individuals for a period of 10 years. The submitted records list the person providing the service, the date on which the service was performed, the amount of time that was spent, a brief description of the work performed, and the value of the time calculated at the normal billing rates. Exs. B and C att'd to Bseirani Parties Aff., Doc. 445 in Case No. 84-CV-1502. According to these records, the Bseirani Parties seek attorney's fees for a total of 5818.25 hours expended over a ten year period. The following chart breaks these hours down by the year in which they were expended and the party against whom these hours are chargeable.
HOURS Abou-Khadra Mahshie Common Total
Parties Only Only to Both
1995 0 51.75 0 51.75
1994 123.25 536.25 0 659.5
1993 60.75 11.75 0 72.5
1992 340.75 11.5 0 352.25
1991 2231.25 25.75 .75 2257.75
1990 .25 .5 303 303.75
1989 0 8.25 488 496.25
1988 1.25 0 415.25 416.5
1987 41.25 29.75 655.5 726.5
1986 3.75 0 207.25 210.95
1985 106.25 0 164.25 270.45
TOTAL: 2908.75 675.5 2234 5818.25
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