United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
ORDER AND OPINION
BRAMLETTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff McRae Law Firm, PLLC's Motion
[Doc. 14] to recover the costs and expenses,
including attorney fees, it incurred as a result of Defendant
Barry W. Gilmer's objectively unreasonable removal of
Order dated January 3, 2018, the Court remanded this action,
concluded that Gilmer lacked an objectively reasonable basis
for removing it, and awarded McRae Law Firm, PLLC
(“McRae Firm”) costs under 28 U.S.C. §
1447(c). See Doc. 13.
Court directed Gilmer and the McRae Firm to confer on an
appropriate award. They did not. So the responsibility shifts
to the Court to set an appropriate award under §
McRae Firm asks the Court to award it unspecified expenses
and nearly $8, 000 in legal fees. In support, the McRae Firm
offers only the name of the attorney or para-professional,
their hourly rate, and the number of hours they worked on the
case. No affidavits are offered; no bills are
produced. Gilmer opposes McRae's Motion,
complaining it lacks detail and ignores the lodestar method.
owes the McRae Firm the just costs and actual expenses,
including attorney fees, it incurred as a result of
Gilmer's removal -- his third -- of this action. 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c). To determine the attorney fee portion
of the award, the Court conducts a two-step analysis.
Portillo v. Cunningham, 872 F.3d 728, 741 (5th Cir.
the Court calculates the lodestar -- “the number of
hours reasonably expended multiplied by the prevailing hourly
rate in the community for similar work.” Combs v.
City of Huntington, Tex., 829 F.3d 388, 392 (5th Cir.
the Court considers whether to alter the lodestar based on
the twelve Johnson factors: (1) the time and labor
required; (2) the novelty and difficulty of the issues; (3)
the skill required to perform the legal service adequately;
(4) the preclusion of other employment by the attorney
because he accepted this case; (5) the customary fee for
similar work in the community; (6) whether the fee is fixed
or contingent; (7) time limitations imposed by the client or
the circumstances; (8) the amount involved and the results
obtained; (9) the experience, reputation, and ability of the
attorneys, (10) the undesirability of the case; (11) the
nature and length of the professional relationship with the
client; and (12) awards in similar cases. Union Asset
Mgmt. Holding A.G. v. Dell, Inc. 669 F.3d 632, 642 n. 25
(5th Cir. 2012).
party seeking fees, the McRae Firm must “present
adequately documented time records.” Watkins v.
Fordice, 7 F.3d 453, 457 (5th Cir. 1993). Documentation
is adequate if it provides the Court the information it needs
to “fulfill its duty to examine the application for
noncompensable hours.” Louisiana Power & Light
Co. v. Kellstrom, 50 F.3d 319, 324 (5th Cir. 1995)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
attorney fee calculation is fact-intensive. Hopwood v.
State of Texas, 236 F.3d 256, 281 (5th Cir. 2000).
Hourly rates are not fixed by the fee-seeking-party's
description; they are computed based on the “prevailing
market rates in the relevant legal market.”
Id. at 281.
relevant legal market is the Southern District of
Mississippi. See Tollett v. City of Kemah, 285 F.3d
357, 368 (5th Cir. 2002). And a reasonable hourly rate is
shown through affidavits of other attorneys ...