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VIDEO-CINEMA FILMS, INC. v. CBS CORPORATION

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 Page 2 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 Page 3 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 additional $37,500.

  CONCLUSION

  Video-Cinema is directed to pay CBS $48,364.80 in attorneys' fees for its in-house attorney's time spent on this matter.

  SO ORDERED.

20040219

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



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