A District Court judge in Missouri has determined the amount of attorney fees to be paid to the plaintiff’s lawyers following the settlement of a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuit to be 53% lower than what the plaintiff’s attorneys requested.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Allerdissen v. Medical Commercial Audit can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff’s attorneys had been seeking $11,295 in fees, but were ultimately awarded $5,340 by Judge John Ross of the District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division.
While keeping the hourly rate the same as was requested by the plaintiff’s attorneys, Judge Ross reduced the number of hours claimed to have been worked on the case. Where local counsel Boris Graypel claimed to have worked 18.5 hours on the case, Judge Ross reduced that to 9.8 hours. And out-of-state counsel David Barshay’s workload was reduced to six hours, from 13.2. The hours for a second out-of-state counsel were eliminated altogether because her “work on this case is duplicative, clerical, and unsupported by an affidavit,” Judge Ross wrote.
Judge Ross took issue with the amount of time Graypel said it took for him to draft the complaint in this case. Rather than the 6.8 hours he claimed it took, Judge Ross awarded Graypel 3.3 hours, “in light of Graypel’s experience in the field, which he sets forth in his affidavit,” he wrote.
In noting that it appeared that both attorneys spent time reviewing the same documents and preparing the same pleadings, Judge Ross was left “with the distinct impression that certain parts of this case were ‘overlawyered.’ “