United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
CARLTON W. REEVES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
first remanded this case, this Court did not sanction Barry
Gilmer for what could have been an innocent
mistake. Gilmer got a pass on the second remand,
too. The third time, though, Judge Bramlette was not pleased.
He remanded the matter, awarded the plaintiff more than $5,
000 in attorney's fees, and cautioned Gilmer that
“stiffer sanctions” would result if Gilmer
removed this dispute a fourth time. McRae Law Firm, PLLC
v. Gilmer, No. 3:17-CV-704-DCB-LRA, 2018 WL 3595219, at
*3 (S.D.Miss. July 26, 2018). Judge Bramlette even considered
imposing a pre-filing injunction to prevent Gilmer from
removing the case a fourth time.
didn't remove the case again. It appears, he simply got
his son to do it for him.
Wade Gilmer perfected the fourth removal of this case in
February 2019, drawing this cause number. Barry Gilmer
consented to the removal. There was no factual or legal
justification for the removal, so it should have come as no
surprise that in remanding this case yet again, this Court
found that “attorney's fees and costs are more than
appropriate.” Docket No. 20.
question today is how much those fees and costs will total.
Gilmer has been here before. See McRae Law Firm,
2018 WL 3595219, at *3. The legal standard for fee motions is
familiar and need not be repeated. See Sturkin v.
Patrick, No. 3:16-CV-434-CWR-FKB, 2019 WL 2078790, at *1
(S.D.Miss. May 10, 2019). The Supreme Court has explained
that “trial courts need not, and indeed should not,
become green-eyeshade accountants. The essential goal in
shifting fees (to either party) is to do rough justice, not
to achieve auditing perfection.” Id. at *2
(quotation marks and citation omitted).
this clearly established law, the briefs and evidence on this
single issue exceed 1, 200 pages. The Court has attempted to
boil down the lengthy record into a few findings:
their protestations of independence,  the available evidence
suggests that defendants Barry Gilmer and Matthew Wade Gilmer
work together, live together, represent each other on
occasion, regularly share and transfer financial
assets between one another, have identical interests in this
long-running dispute, and, most importantly, have acted in
concert to frustrate the plaintiff and the judicial system in
its effort to see this case to its conclusion. See,
e.g., Docket No. 23-13 at 33, 37-38, 82, 89-93, 110,
121-27, 147-49, 228, 240, and 253. Their fourth removal of
this case was objectively unreasonable. Their actions have
unnecessarily delayed the resolution of their dispute with
evidence attached to the present motion for fees shows that
reasonable hours were expended by the plaintiff's
attorneys on securing the fourth remand. Their brief and
arguments were compelling enough that the Gilmers conceded to
remand on the merits, reserving their objections only to the
prospect of sanctions.
the reasonableness of the hourly rates, the Court finds Mr.
Corlew's evidence of attorney hourly rates to be
consistent with evidence shown in other cases in this
judicial district. See, e.g., Brown v.
Mississippi Dep't of Health, No.
3:11-CV-146-CWR-FKB, 2013 WL 12128785, at *3-4 (S.D.Miss.
Mar. 5, 2013) (collecting cases); McWilliams v. Advanced
Recovery Sys., Inc., No. 3:15-CV-70-CWR-LRA, 2017 WL
2625118, at *3 (S.D.Miss. June 16, 2017). The plaintiffs'
attorneys are certainly experienced enough to draw these
rates, and there is no reason to deviate from these regional
norms in this matter.
these reasons, the Court will award the movants the full
attorney's fees they seek. No. adjustments will be made
after consideration of the Johnson factors, for
essentially the same reasons Judge Bramlette provided in the
last fee award. See McRae Law Firm, 2018 WL 3595219,
Order of Remand, this Court asked whether the defendants
should be required to pay a per-day sanction for the delay
they have caused. There is little doubt that the defendants
have acted in bad faith, that lesser sanctions were
unsuccessful and had no deterrent effect on their behavior,
and that the defendants have more than adequate financial
resources to pay per-day sanctions. Under the circumstances,
therefore, a per-day sanction is warranted.
said, the undersigned believes that the Chancellor is in the
best position to calculate the precise number of days that
the defendants' actions have delayed the resolution of
the case before her. This Court will therefore decline to
issue a daily sanction and, instead, simply express its
belief that any decision she might reach to sanction the
defendants would not be an abuse of discretion.
motion for fees and costs is granted in the amount of $13,
931.10. It shall be paid before December 1, 2019. The motion
to strike is denied. The supplemental motion for fees is
addition, Matthew Wade Gilmer and Barry Gilmer, and all of
their law firms, entities, agents, attorneys, and
representatives, are hereby enjoined from removing their
state-court dispute with the McRae Law Firm into federal
court, unless they have ...