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Mendez v. Radec Corp.

United States District Court, W.D. New York

November 1, 2012

Patrick MENDEZ, on behalf of himself and all other employees similarly situated, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
The RADEC CORPORATION, Mark Shortino, and Raymond Shortino, Defendants.

Page 354

J. Nelson Thomas, Jessica Lynne Witenko, Michael J. Lingle, Thomas & Solomon LLP, Rochester, NY, for Plaintiffs.

Amy L. Hemenway, Robert C. Weissflach, Harter, Secrest and Emery LLP, Buffalo, NY, for Defendants.

DECISION AND ORDER

MICHAEL A. TELESCA, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, Patrick Mendez, on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated employees (" Plaintiffs" ), brought this class and collective action lawsuit pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (" FLSA" ), 29 U.S.C. Section 216(b), New York Labor Law (" NYLL" ), and Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (" Rule 23" ) against The Radec Corporation, Mark Shortino and Raymond Shortino (collectively, " Defendants" ). The parties settled and on June 14, 2011, the Honorable David G. Larimer issued a final order approving the settlement and dismissing the case with prejudice. (Docket No. 328.) On July 21, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a motion for attorneys' fees and costs, which were to be

Page 355

determined in a proceeding separate from the approval of the settlement. (Docket No. 329.) Following extensive briefing, which included additional discovery, the motion was transferred to the undersigned for determination. (Docket Nos. 345, 346, 355.)

Defendants contend that Plaintiffs are not entitled to attorneys' fees and that the amount requested for both attorneys' fees and costs is unreasonable. They seek denial of the motion for attorneys' fees or, in the alternative, a reduction in the amount of fees requested by at least 75%. Plaintiffs contend that they are entitled to an award of attorneys' fees and the amount of fees and costs requested is reasonable, considering the length and complexity of the litigation and the expertise they have in representing plaintiffs in class and collective action law suits under state and federal labor laws.

The Court finds that the amount of attorneys' fees and costs requested is unreasonable and awards attorneys' fees and costs, as calculated herein.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs request an award of $1,612,805.42 in attorneys' fees and $108,863.09 in costs, for a total of 1,721,668.51. Although the case has been pending for more than nine years, the parties agreed that any fee request would limited to hours billed through December 27, 2010.

Plaintiffs request payment for 7011 hours of work performed by attorneys and paralegals at the following hourly rates:

$375 for partners
$330 for attorneys with 10 years of experience
$300 for attorneys with 6-10 years of ...

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