United States District Court, S.D. New York
February 19, 2004.
VIDEO-CINEMA FILMS, INC., Plaintiff, V. CBS CORPORATION, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: BARBARA JONES, District Judge
OPINION and ORDER
In its February 3, 2004 Opinion, this Court set the amount that
Plaintiff Video-Cinema Films, Inc. ("Video-Cinema") would pay Defendants
Cable News Network, Inc. LLP, LLLP ("CNN"), American Broadcast Network
("ABC") and CBS Broadcasting Inc. ("CBS") for the attorneys' fees and
costs incurred defending against Video-Cinema's copyright infringement
suit. See Video-Cinema Films, Inc. v. Cable News Network, Inc., 98 Civ.
7128, 2004 WL 213032 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2004). The Court set the precise
amount of attorney's fees and costs for all the Defendants except for
CBS's attorney's fees, and directed CBS to submit an estimate of the
actual imputed cost of its in-house attorney's time to use in the
lodestar calculation. Id. at *8.
CBS timely submitted its estimate, which stated that "the imputed
hourly cost of an hour's work actually
performed by [CBS's in-house attorney] would be $154.99." See Declaration
of Naomi B. Waltman, dated Feb. 12, 2004, at 3. The Court finds that
$154.99 is a reasonable hourly rate, in light of the in-house attorney's
education and experience, and therefore multiplies this $154.99 rate by
the 70.1 hours approved in the February 3 Opinion. See Video-Cinema
Films, 2004 WL 213032, at *8. Therefore, the lodestar calculation for
CBS's attorney's fees results in a $10,864.80 figure.
However, CBS also requests an additional $50,000, arguing that awarding
it for only the hours that they maintained contemporaneous records for
would leave them "undercompensated for the reasonable value of its work,
including for the time spent on drafting an answer, conducting factual
investigations regarding the two CBS news reports that were at issue in
the underlying litigation, drafting and responding to Plaintiff's
discovery requests, preparing for depositions, litigating several
discovery disputes, and the preparation of lengthy and substantial
summary judgment motion papers and reply memoranda." Id.
The Court agrees. As the Court is familiar with the work CBS expended
in this matter, and, more generally, the time it takes to prepare the
briefs and participate in the
discovery that CBS did not maintain proper records for, the Court finds
that $50,000 is indeed a reasonable, and likely a conservative estimate,
of the fee. However, as the Court held with regard to ABC, the Court
reduces CBS's request by 25% because it did not maintain contemporaneous
records of its time. Id. at *7 (citing F.H. Kear & Co. v. Nineteen Named
Trustees, 810 F.2d 1250, 1265 (2d Cir. 1987)). Therefore, CBS is awarded
the amount that the lodestar calculation resulted in, $10,864.80, plus an
Video-Cinema is directed to pay CBS $48,364.80 in attorneys' fees for
its in-house attorney's time spent on this matter.
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