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Bostrom v. PNC Bank N.A.

United States District Court, D. Idaho

October 7, 2016

ERICK and PEGGY BOSTROM, a married couple, Plaintiffs,
v.
PNC BANK, N.A., and DOES 1-10, inclusive, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: PNC BANK'S MOTION FOR AWARD OF ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS

          Honorable Candy W. Dale United States Magistrate Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Defendant PNC Bank's Motion for Award of Attorney Fees and Costs (Dkt. 24.) In an earlier motion, PNC Bank asked the Court to compel certain discovery from Plaintiffs Erick and Peggy Bostrom, and to sanction the Bostroms' former counsel, Andrew Schoppe, for various discovery related inadequacies. (Dkt. 20.) The Court granted PNC Bank's motion to compel and indicated reasonable attorney fees and expenses would be appropriate sanctions against Mr. Schoppe. The Court requested PNC Bank to submit a bill of costs and fees so the Court could determine the reasonable amount of fees and expenses pursuant to the Court's prior order, permitting also the Bostroms and Mr. Schoppe an opportunity to respond to contest the reasonableness of the amounts requested by PNC Bank. (Dkt. 20 at 15.) Neither the Bostroms nor Mr. Schoppe responded.

         PNC Bank requests $5, 260.00 in attorney fees and $235.00 in costs. (Dkt. 24.) For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant in part and deny in part PNC Bank's motion for fees and costs.

         COURT'S ORDER AWARDING SANCTIONS (DKT. 20)

         On June 9, 2016, the Court granted PNC Bank's motion to compel and motion for sanctions. (Dkt. 20.) Specifically, the Court ruled that sanctions would be awarded against Mr. Schoppe for the following:

• Reasonable attorney fees and expenses associated with the several letters, emails, and time spent by PNC bank attempting to contact the Bostroms by telephone to obtain their supplemental disclosures. Id. at 11.
• Reasonable attorney fees and expenses associated with the scheduling and appearing for the February 25, 2016 depositions of Erick and Peggy Bostrom, including court reporter fees, and any additional expenses incurred due to the need to re-schedule the depositions. Id. at 12.
• Reasonable attorney fees and expenses associated with procuring PNC Bank's written discovery requests from the Bostroms. Id.
• Reasonable attorney fees and expenses associated with the motion to compel. Id. at 13.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Attorney Fees

         The Court finds the majority of the attorney fees itemized in Thompson's Affidavit in Support of the Motion for Award of Attorney Fees and Costs are reasonable and, for the reasons that follow, will grant in part, and deny in part, PNC Bank's attorney fee request.

         In the Ninth Circuit, the proper method for determining a reasonable attorney fee is to use the “lodestar method.” Haeger v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., 813 F.3d 1233, 1249 (9th Cir. 2016). First, the Court calculates attorney fees by multiplying the number of hours reasonably spent by counsel by a reasonable hourly rate. Cotton v. City of Eureka, Cal.,889 F.Supp.2d 1154, 1165 (N.D. Cal. 2012). In determining a reasonable hourly rate, the Court considers the “experience, skill and reputation of the attorney requesting fees, ” Trevino v. ...


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