30Dec 2014

In a case where a sexual harassment plaintiff who was allegedly raped by her immediate supervisor accepted an offer of judgment approximately one-tenth of her settlement demand, plaintiff’s counsel filed a fee petition seeking more than $1.2 in attorneys’ fees. Firm partner, Robyn McGrath, successfully argued to the court that the plaintiff’s attorneys’ engaged in double billing, billing for unnecessary work, and overcharging for almost every task.

In view of the fact that the court had granted summary judgment on five of the six claims contained in the Complaint, leaving only a hostile work environment claim, the court also accepted the defense argument that Plaintiff had achieved only “limited success” and should obtain only a reduced fee as a result. McGrath also successfully argued that most of the costs incurred by plaintiffs’ counsel for consultation of a litigation support company for deposition preparation and “mock cross examination” were gratuitous and patently unreasonable. The court slashed the fee petition, awarding plaintiff’s counsel only $79,000 in fees for more than two years of contentious litigation. Plaintiff accepted the award and did not
appeal.