310 F.Supp.2d 376 (2004) | Cited 11 times | D. Massachusetts | February 5, 2004

1. The parties consented to transfer the case to this court for allpurposes, including trial and the entry of final judgment, pursuant to28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 73. I. INTRODUCTION The plaintiff, Richard Parker ("Parker"), filed the instant "Motion forPlaintiff's Attorney's Fees and Costs" (Docket # 139) pursuant to42 U.S.C. § 1988 as the prevailing party following a jury trial. In theunderlying lawsuit, Parker alleged that his constitutional and state lawrights were violated on February 20, 1998 when he was shot a number oftimes by police following a car chase which resulted in his arrest. Suitwas originally brought against three Swansea Police Officers, oneSomerset Police Officer, and the Towns of Swansea and Somerset. Manyclaims were dismissed at the summary judgment stage, and both Somersetdefendants settled prior to trial. The case proceeded to trial againstthe Town of Swansea and three Swansea policemen. A jury verdict wasPage 2returned in favor of all the defendants except for Swansea'sOfficer Richard Roussel. The jury awarded Parker $250,000 in compensatorydamages, but declined to award any punitive damages. On June 25, 2003,the court entered judgment nunc pro tunc to June 17, 2003, the date ofthe jury verdict, in Parker's favor against Officer Roussel on Counts I(42 U.S.C. § 1983) and VII (assault and battery). In the instant motion, Parker seeks $171,000 in attorney's fees for thework done in connection with this case by his counsel, Attorney BarryWard; $15,240 for the work done by Attorney Ward's paralegal, Ms. ToniaMarable; and $15,695.30 in costs. Parker contends that Attorney Ward isentitled to $250/hour for 684 hours of work and Ms. Marable is entitledto $30/hour for 508 hours of work. Officer Roussel does not object to thehourly rate sought by Ms. Marable, but, for various reasons, contests thehourly rate sought by Attorney Ward, the number of hours sought by bothAttorney Ward and Ms. Marable, and several items Parker has sought to taxas costs. For the reasons detailed herein, the court concludes that Parker isentitled to $95,836.65 in legal fees and $11,758.40 in costs. Thus,Parker's motion is ALLOWED IN PART and DENIED IN PART and judgment willenter accordingly. II. STATEMENT OF FACTS The Underlying Case The facts of this case as established at trial are detailed more fullyin this court's Memorandum of Decision and Order on Defendant RichardRoussel's Renewed MotionPage 3for Judgment as a Matter of Law which was recently issued. Briefly,the relevant facts are as follows: On the evening of February 19, 1998, Parker drove his jeep from hishome in New London, Connecticut to attend a concert at a club inProvidence, Rhode Island. He discovered that the club was closed, and wastraveling home when he got lost in Massachusetts. At approximately 12:20a.m., Swansea Police Officer William McGrath pulled Parker over,contending that Parker was driving erratically. Swansea Officer MarcHaslam also arrived at the site of the stop in another marked SwanseaPolice Department vehicle. After Officer McGrath exited his cruiser toapproach Parker's jeep, Parker got scared and drove away, fleeing on to anearby highway. Officer McGrath pursued Parker, and was soon joined bySwansea Officers Roussel and Haslam and Somerset Police Officer JeffreyCote. After a while, a sergeant at the Swansea Police station who had beenmonitoring the chase called off the pursuit, and the officers complied.However, Parker abruptly cut across the highway and immediately took anexit. As Parker was taking the exit, he lost control of his jeep and wentoff the road, hitting a tree and landing in a ditch. All four police cars also took the exit and stopped near the crashsite. Officer Roussel immediately approached Parker's jeep by, in his ownwords, "walking quickly" with his flashlight in one hand and his servicefirearm in the other. The parties dispute what happened next, but it isundisputed that Officer Roussel shot at Parker multiplePage 4times from close range and then dove for cover. According toParker, he was trying to surrender with his hands out in front of him.Officer Roussel claims that he thought Parker had a gun and was going toshoot him. Hearing Officer Roussel's shots and seeing him fall, all threeof the other police officers at the site began shooting at Parker aswell. Ultimately, Massachusetts State Police ballistics testing conclusivelydetermined that the police officers fired a total of forty-nine shots atParker. Between six and eight of these bullets struck him. These shotshit him in the foot, four places in his legs, his penis, and his abdomen.Parker was ultimately subdued and arrested. He was then taken byambulance, and then helicopter, to the hospital where he was listed incritical condition. Although the area was searched, no weapon was everfound, and Parker has consistently denied being armed. Procedural History On January 12, 2001, Parker filed an eight count Complaint alleging (1)that each individual officer violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on eightseparate grounds, including, inter alia, violating Parker'sright to be free from the use of excessive force, arresting Parkerwithout probable cause, and violating Parker's right to be free fromunreasonable searches and seizures (Count I); (2) that the officersviolated Parker's rights as protected by the Massachusetts Civil RightsAct ("MCRA") for the same reasons (Count II); (3) that the Towns ofSomerset and Swansea violated Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 258, § 2, thePage 5Massachusetts Torts Claim Act ("MTCA"), by negligently supervising,disciplining, and training the officers (Counts III-IV); (4) that bothtowns were liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for failing to train itsofficers in various areas (Counts V-VI); (5) that each officer committedassault and battery under Massachusetts law (Count VII); and (6) that thethree Swansea officers also were liable for malicious prosecution understate law (Count VIII). Eventually, all the defendants moved for summary judgment on allcounts. This court allowed Somerset's motion as to both counts directedto that town, and dismissed the malicious prosecution claim against theSwansea officers. However, this court allowed the case to proceed againstall the individual officers on the claims alleging violations of42 U.S.C. § 1983, the MCRA, and assault and battery, and allowed thecase to proceed against Swansea on the claims alleging violations of42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the MTCA. (See generally Memorandum ofDecision and Order on Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment (Docket #93)). This court also limited the civil rights claims to charges ofexcessive use of force, finding that Parker had waived his other grounds.(Id. at 8 n.1). Immediately before trial, Parker sought leave to file a 74 page amendedcomplaint adding a multitude of new factual allegations, but no newclaims. The motion was denied. On the first day of trial, and beforetestimony started, Somerset Officer Cote reached a settlement on all ofthe claims remaining against him. During the trial, ParkerPage 6waived his MTCA and MCRA claims. After the case against theremaining defendants was tried to a jury, a verdict was returned in favorof the Town of Somerset and Somerset Officers McGrath and Haslam. Thejury responded to special questions, and found that Officer Roussel hadviolated Parker's constitutional rights by using excessive force,[fn2]and awarded Parker $250,000 in compensatory damages. No punitive damageswere awarded. As a result of the jury's answers to the special questions,the court entered judgment in favor of Parker and against Officer Rousselon the counts alleging a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and assaultand battery in the total amount of $250,000 plus pre-judgment interest,as authorized by the jury verdict. The issue of attorney's fees and costswas deferred pending further briefing. The Record on Attorney's Fees and Costs After seeking several extensions, on July 31, 2003 Parker filed theinstant motion for fees and a bill of costs. (Docket # 139). He alsofiled affidavits from his counsel, Barry Ward, and Attorney Ward'sparalegal, Tonia Marable, along with a lengthy collection of billingrecords. (Docket # 140). No memorandum in support of the fee request wasfiled. On August 26, 2003, Officer Roussel filed a detailed opposition toParker's motion, contesting Attorney Ward's hourly rate, as well asobjecting to specificPage 7items for which compensation was being sought. (Docket #143(objection to fees ("Fees Opp.")) and #144 (objection to costs) ("CostsOpp.")). A hearing on the request for fees as well as other post-trial motionswas held on August 27, 2003. After reviewing the submissions and hearingargument, this court found that Parker had failed to carry his burden ofestablishing the prevailing rate for comparable legal services in thecommunity. The only evidence Parker had presented was Attorney Ward's ownaffidavit which provided that he had spoken to three lawyers and that, asa consequence, it was his "understanding . . . that for litigating aCivil Rights case an hourly rate of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars per hour isa reasonable and usual rate for an attorney of Twenty Five years ofexperience." (Ward Affidavit (Docket #140) at ¶¶ 5, 6). OfficerRoussel also requested additional time to determine whether he hadfurther objections to the request for fees and costs. Consequently, thecourt entered an order permitting Officer Roussel to file supplementalmaterials by September 19, 2003, requiring Parker to file anysupplemental materials addressing both the hourly rate issue and OfficerRoussel's objections by October 20, 2003, and authorizing Officer Rousselto file a response by October 31, 2003. Officer Roussel initially did not supplement his materials. Parkerfiled the affidavit of Attorney Howard Friedman to support his hourlyrate. In addition to detailing his own experience, Attorney Friedmanasserted that, in his opinion, "the fair market value of legal servicesis best measured by the rates charged for complexPage 8litigation by senior partners in large Boston law firms" and thatthose hourly rates ranged from $190 to $575 per hour. (Friedman Affidavit(Docket # 147) at ¶ 5). Parker did not file a response to any of theobjections Officer Roussel had raised. Officer Roussel then filed asupplemental objection challenging the filing of Attorney Friedman'sAffidavit on that grounds that it used an inappropriate standard forbilling rates, and provided no information as to what rate Attorney Wardshould receive. (Docket # 148). No party has requested an evidentiary hearing on the issue of fees andcosts. Based on the information presented in the parties' initial andsupplemental submissions, as well as the argument of counsel on August27, 2003, this court concludes that no evidentiary hearing is necessaryand that further argument would not assist the court. III. DISCUSSION A. The Standard for Statutory Attorney's Fees Attorney Ward contends that he is entitled to payment for 684 hours oflegal work at the rate of $250/hour and that Ms. Marable should be paid$30/hour for 508 hours.[fn3] It is Officer Roussel's position, on theother hand, that the court should deny AttorneyPage 9Ward any fees altogether[fn4] or, alternatively, find that areasonable rate for Attorney Ward's services should not exceed$125-$150/hour. Officer Roussel further challenges the total number ofhours for which compensation is being sought. For the reasons thatfollow, this court finds that Attorney Ward is entitled to payment for485.7 core hours at a rate of $180.00/hour; 94.7 hours of non-core workat a rate of $120/hour; and that Ms. Marable is entitled to $30.00/hourfor 465.3 hours. Under 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b), "the court, in its discretion, may allowthe prevailing party [in a § 1983 civil rights suit], . . . areasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs" to which a prevailingparty is ordinarily entitled under Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d).42 U.S.C. § 1988(b). The purpose of § 1988 is to "ensure effectiveaccess to the judicial process for persons with civil rights grievances. . . not to serve as full employment or continuing education programsfor lawyers and paralegals." Lipsett v. Blanco, 975 F.2d at 938(internal citation and quotation omitted). While the statute is "couchedin permissive terminology," awarding fees in favor of prevailing civilrights plaintiffs is "virtually obligatory." Gay Officers Action League v.Puerto Rico, 247 F.3d 288, 293 (1st Cir. 2001), and cases cited.Page 10There is no dispute here that Parker is a "prevailing plaintiff"within the meaning of § 1988(b), thus that requirement is not anissue. However, the mere fact that a plaintiff is a "prevailing party"does "not mean that they can recover for all the time spent in thislitigation." Alfonso v. Aufiero, 66 F. Supp.2d 183, 191 (D.Mass. 1999) (internal citation and quotation omitted). Rather, tocalculate the amount of a fee award, it is common in this jurisdiction toapply a "lodestar" approach. "In implementing this lodestar approach, thejudge first calculates the time counsel spent on the case, subtractsduplicative, unproductive, or excessive hours, and then appliesprevailing rates in the community (taking into account thequalifications, experience, and specialized competence of the attorneysinvolved)." Gay Officers Action League v. Puerto Rico, 247 F.3dat 295, and cases cited. "Once established, the lodestar represents apresumptively reasonable fee, although it is subject to upward ordownward adjustment in certain circumstances." Lipsett v.Blanco, 975 F.2d at 937. In making a fee request, counsel for the prevailing party must exercise"billing judgment," that is they "should make a good faith effort toexclude from a fee request hours that are excessive, redundant, orotherwise unnecessary[.]" Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424,434, 103 S.Ct. 1933, 1939-40, 76 L.Ed.2d 40 (1983). Moreover, it is"the court's prerogative (indeed, its duty) to winnow out excessivehours, time spent tilting at windmills, and the like." Gay OfficersAction League v. Puerto Rico, 247 F.3d at 296.Page 11Since the "determination of the extent of a reasonable feenecessarily involves a series of judgment calls," the trial court has"extremely broad" discretion in setting a fee award. Lipsett v.Blanco, 975 F.2d at 937, and cases cited. While the court need not"set forth hour-by-hour analyses of fee requests," at a "bare minimum,"the "trial court's fee determination must expose (its) thought processand show the method and manner underlying its decisional calculus,"especially when "the fee award departs substantially from the contoursshaped by the application." Alfonso v. Aufiero, 66 F. Supp.2d at192 (internal citations and quotations omitted). Following the preferred lodestar model, this court will first determinethe appropriate hourly rate to be applied. Then the court will determinethe number of compensable hours for work performed by Attorney Ward andMs. Marable, taking into account Officer Roussel's objections. Aftermultiplying this number by the reasonable hourly rate, the court willaddress whether a departure is appropriate in light of the extent ofParker's success. B. The Reasonable Hourly Rate Attorney Ward is seeking to be compensated at the rate of $250/hour. Insupport of his request, he has filed his own affidavit and the affidavitof Attorney HowardPage 12Friedman.[fn5] Officer Roussel contends that Attorney Ward's rateshould not exceed $125-$150/hour, although he offers no support for whythat figure is warranted. Officer Roussel does not contest the $30/hourrate being sought for Ms. Marable. This court finds that Attorney Ward'sproposed rate is excessive. Rather, Attorney Ward will be compensated atthe rate of $180/hour for core legal work and $120/hour for non-corework. The court accepts the rate of $30/hour for Ms. Marable. To "determine a reasonable hourly rate, the Court must find theprevailing hourly rate in Boston for attorneys of comparable skill,experience, and reputation" as Attorney Ward. Martino v. Mass.Bay Transp. Auth., 230 F. Supp.2d 195, 205 (D. Mass. 2002). Parker "bearsthe burden of providing this Court with affidavits and other forms ofevidence that: (1) establish his lawyers' skills and experience, and (2)inform the Court of the prevailing market rate in the community forattorneys with such qualifications." Id. (citing Blum v.Stenson, 465 U.S. 886, 895-96 n. 11, 104 S.Ct. 1541, 1547 n. 11,79 L.Ed.2d 891 (1984)) (additional citation omitted). It is wellestablished that "the Court should not accept attorney submissions atface value but rather should assign more realistic rates to time spent."Guckenberger v. Boston Univ., 8 F. Supp.2d 91, 103 (D. Mass.1998) (internal quotations omitted).Page 13Attorney Ward has provided this court with remarkably littleinformation about his background and experience. The full extent of theinformation provided is contained in his affidavit (Docket #140) asfollows: 2. I have engaged in the practice of law since 1978. 3. A large part of my practice has involved litigation and trials.Based on statements made by Attorney Ward during the trial, andbased on this court's observations, this court also finds that AttorneyWard is a graduate of Boston College Law School, he is a solepractitioner, he had never appeared in the Federal District Court inMassachusetts before this case, and it appeared that he had very little,if any, federal court experience in general. In addition, it appeared tothis court based on his statements, continued reliance on general seminarmaterials, deference to non-lawyers on his staff in connection with legalarguments and this court's own observations, that Attorney Ward had verylittle, if any, experience in litigating civil rights cases before theinstant suit. Parker provided this court with slightly more, but still inadequateinformation from which to establish the prevailing rate in the communityfor practitioners with Attorney Ward's experience. The extent ofinformation provided by Attorney Ward in his affidavit is as follows: 5. I have spoken to the following people to obtain a consensus sense of a usual and accepted hourly rate for a practitioner of twenty five years experience litigating a Civil Rights case in Boston, Massachusetts: Professor Michael Avery of Suffolk UniversityPage 14 [L]aw School; Attorney Howard Friedman; Attorney James Simpson.[fn6] 6. My understanding is that for litigating a Civil Rights case an hourly rate of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars per hour is a reasonable and usual rate for an attorney of Twenty Five years experience.(Docket # 140). The glaring inadequacies of this hearsayinformation, which does nothing to assist the court in setting aprevailing rate, much less a rate for someone of Attorney Ward'sexperience, do not warrant extended comment. In response to the court'srequest for additional information, Parker submitted the affidavit ofAttorney Howard Friedman, who has been described by Chief Judge WilliamYoung as "one of the foremost practitioners in this field [of civilrights litigation] and, indeed, is sought out to teach the bar concerningthese issues." Zurakowski v. D'Oyley, 46 F. Supp.2d 87, 89 n.2(D. Mass. 1999). This court notes, however, that even with such stellarcredentials, and even though his "conduct, efficiency, andprofessionalism" during the trial before Judge Young was described byJudge Young as "exemplary throughout," Attorney Friedman only commandedan hourly rate of $240 for core work, which is $10/hour less thanAttorney Ward is requesting in the instant case. Id. at 89. In any event, unfortunately the information provided by AttorneyFriedman in this case does not greatly assist the court in setting theprevailing rate for someone of Attorney Ward's experience. Thus, AttorneyFriedman provided details about his own,Page 15extensive experience in the practice of civil rights litigation,but made no comment about Attorney Ward's experience. (SeeFriedman Affidavit (Docket # 147) at ¶¶ 1-4). He then asserted: 5. In my opinion, the fair market value of legal services is best measured by the rates charged for complex litigation by senior partners in large Boston law firms. According to a recent survey published in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly's Annual Survey of The 100 Largest Law Firms in Massachusetts on April 22, 2002, the hourly rates charged by partners in the Boston law firms that reported their rates ranged from $190 to $575.Attorney Friedman then listed 16 local firms without anydescription of the firm, any indication of the type of legal workassociated with these rates, any indication as to how Attorney Ward'spractice fits in with these firms, or any explanation as to the widerange of fees charged within each firm itself. Attorney Friedmanconcluded his affidavit by citing three Massachusetts cases where ratesapproved were $325, $250 and $240/hour. (Friedman Affidavit at ¶ 6).However, in this court's view, the situations presented in those casesdiffered significantly from that presented to this court. See, e.g.,Guckenberger v. Boston Univ., 8 F. Supp.2d at 106 ($325/hour for coretime awarded to Yale Law School graduate with 36 years of litigationexperience, focusing primarily on disability law, with "sterling"credentials and whose "considerable abilities place him among the elitecivil rights trial attorneys" in Boston); Alfonso v. Aufiero,66 F. Supp.2d at 197 ($250/hour for core work justified for senior privatecivil rights attorney with nearly twenty years of private practiceexperience which centered on civil rights litigation,Page 16and police misconduct cases in particular); Zurakowskiv. D'Oyley, 46 F. Supp.2d at 89 & n.2 ($240/hour for core workawarded to Attorney Friedman as discussed above; court finds rate to bewell above average and warranted only because counsel was "one of theforemost practitioners in the field"). In this court's view, Parker's case was not comparable to complexlitigation handled by senior partners in large law firms. The legalissues were actually quite straightforward, and while a number ofwitnesses were involved, the facts, although hotly contested, werestraightforward. Moreover, as a sole practitioner who does not specializein civil rights litigation, this court finds it unlikely that AttorneyWard could command the fees charged by senior partners in large lawfirms. See, e.g., Martino v. MBTA, 230 F. Supp.2d at 205(recognizing that sole practitioner's rates are lower than firm rates,because at a firm some work would likely be done by junior attorneys atlower rates). The court is left with the need to ascertain a prevailing rate withvery limited information. Despite Parker's failure to meet his burden ofproviding information sufficient to enable this court to set a rate,however, this court finds that some award of fees is reasonable. AttorneyWard did try a case for eleven days[fn7] and was able to convince a juryto return a sizeable verdict in favor of his client in light of hotlycontested facts. Therefore, compensation is warranted.Page 17 After consideration of the limited information provided, as well asother cases decided in this jurisdiction, this court sets Attorney Ward'srate at $180/hour for core work, and $120/hour for non-core work. For thereasons detailed above, this court finds that Attorney Ward's rates wouldbe below those of senior partners in large firms who handle complexlitigation. According to Attorney Friedman, therefore, the rate would bebelow $190/hour. Similarly, this case did not involve the complexities,and/or Attorney Ward does not have the experience comparable to thoseattorneys for which $200/hour (or more) has been found reasonable.See, e.g., McLaughlin v. Boston School Comm., 976 F. Supp. 53,62 (D. Mass. 1997) ("first-rate" attorneys but without prior civil rightslitigation experience awarded $200/hour in case involving "significantissues of law but virtually undisputed facts"); Martino v.MBTA, 230 F. Supp.2d at 205 (sole practitioner with a "long andimpressive record as a litigator in the labor and employment field"awarded $200/hour). The rate of $180/hour for an attorney of Mr. Ward'sexperience is consistent with awards in other civil rights cases in thisjurisdiction. See, e.g., Martino v. MBTA, 230 F. Supp.2d at 206(partner at mid-sized labor and employment firm with just under 20 yearsexperience awarded $175/hour; another attorney with more than 20 yearsexperience awarded $185/hour — the rate proposed by the defendant);Wilson v. McClure, 135 F. Supp.2d 66, 74 (D. Mass. 2001) (courtawards $120/hour for core work for counsel for whom the only informationprovided was that he had been practicing law since 1983, that hispractice is "primarily litigation," and that he lacked experience inPage 18civil rights matter); Guckenberger v. Boston Univ.,8 F. Supp.2d at 106 (lawyer who was responsible "for the lion's share ofbrief writing and legal research and [who] played a vital management rolein the presentation of the plaintiffs' case," who graduated Harvard LawSchool and practiced exclusively in the field of disability law sincegraduating 5 years earlier, awarded $180/hour for core work). The "Core" v. "Non-Core" Distinction It is common in the First Circuit to distinguish between "core" workand "noncore" work, and to compensate attorneys accordingly. "Under theFirst Circuit's taxonomy, core legal work `includes legal research,writing of legal documents, court appearances, negotiations with opposingcounsel, monitoring, and implementation of court orders'. . . . Non-corework, on the other hand, `consists of less demandingtasks, including letter writing and telephone conversations.'"Alfonso v. Aufiero, 66 F. Supp.2d 183, 196 (D. Mass. 1999)(quoting Brewster v. Dukakis, 3 F.3d 488, 492 n.4 (1st Cir.1993)). It also includes conferences with co-counsel. Id.Non-core work is usually compensated at two-thirds the billing rateapproved for core legal work. See, e.g., Id. at 197, and casescited. Thus, having determined that the prevailing rate for AttorneyWards's services is $180/hour, the court will apply a rate of $120/hourfor non-core work. Since the rate agreed upon for Ms. Marable's work isrelatively low, the court will not draw such a distinction for her tasks.Page 19 C. The Reasonable Hours Expended "In calculating the number of hours for which an attorney is entitledto compensation, a court first examines the number of hours actuallyexpended, and then `subtract(s) from that figure hours which wereduplicative, unproductive, excessive, or otherwise unnecessary.'"Martino v. MBTA, 230 F. Supp.2d at 201 (quoting Grendel's Den,Inc. v. Larkin, 749 F.2d 945, 950 (1st Cir. 1984)). Officer Roussel hassubmitted a detailed "Objection to Plaintiff's Request for Payment ofFees" ("Fees Opp.") (Docket # 143) wherein he raises several specificobjections to hours charged. The court will address each of thesegrounds. In addition, where, as here "an attorney has failed to delineatewithin a particular entry what work is core work and what work isnon-core work, this Court has distributed the recorded hours evenly amongeach task within a particular entry. . . . For example, if an attorneyspent 12.0 hours on four tasks, three of which were core work and one ofwhich was non-core work, and the attorney did not allocate [his] timeamong the tasks, this Court would designate 9.0 hours as core hours and3.0 hours as non-core hours." Wilson v. McClure, 135 F. Supp.2dat 73 (internal citations omitted). 1. Vague Billing Entries Officer Roussel is Seeking to reduce the claim for fees by 207.5 hourson the grounds that many of the billing entries are impermissibly vagueand not defined in sufficient detail to allow him to determine whetherthe tasks correspond to claims onPage 20which Parker is entitled to fees. (Fees Opp. at 20-25 & Exs.K-L). After review of these challenged entries, this request isdenied.[fn8] It is well settled that in the context of § 1988 fee petitions "theabsence of detailed contemporaneous time records, except in extraordinarycircumstances, will call for a substantial reduction in any award or, inegregious cases, disallowance." Grendel's Den, Inc. v. Larkin,749 F.2d at 952. The problem with imprecise records is that "they fail toallow[] the paying party to dispute the accuracy of the records as wellas the reasonableness of the time spent." Lipsett v. Blanco,975 F.2d at 938 (internal citation and quotation omitted) (alteration inoriginal). After applying these standards to the challenged billing records in theinstant case, the court concludes that the "records pass muster under theheightened Grendel's Den standard[.]" Id. The recordshere appear to have been kept contemporaneously. Further, most of theentries also give sufficient detail "regarding the nature of the factualor legal issues being discussed or reviewed." Martinez v.Hodgson, 265 F. Supp.2d 135, 140 (D. Mass. 2003). For example, thesubject matter and nature of the tasks are either explicitly stated orreadily ascertainable based on other information contained in therecords. In addition, many of the entries, such as references totelephone calls with the plaintiff and his father, require no furtherdetails to be compensable. Finally, as detailed infra, thefactual bases for all the claims are interrelated, and the development ofthosePage 21facts are compensable, so extensive detail is not necessary toassist the court. Consequently, there will be no general reduction madefor the form of Attorney Ward's entries.[fn9] Specific challenges will bediscussed below. 2. Unproductive Tasks A fundamental principle underlying judicial review of fee applicationsis that time spent on tasks not "necessary to the presentation of thiscase" should be deducted. Alfonso v. Aufiero, 66 F. Supp.2d at193. Officer Roussel has challenged entries for several tasks as"unproductive or otherwise unnecessary to advance the litigation."Id. These items will be addressed in the order presented byOfficer Roussel. Officer Roussel challenges 4.5 hours Attorney Ward Seeks for travelingto the federal court in Boston, apparently to file the Complaint in theinstant case. (Fees Opp. Ex. A). Assuming, without deciding, thatParker's claim accrued on February 20, 1998 triggering the three yearstatue of limitations, Poy v. Boutselis, 352 F.3d at 483, therewas no need for the pleading to be hand delivered to the court on January12, 2001, over a month before the limitations period expired.Consequently, this time has been deducted.Page 22Officer Roussel also challenges two entries for attending a statusconference on April 30, 2001 as duplicative. (Fees Opp. Ex. O). Sincethere was only one status conference held on that date, this wasobviously an error and the court has deducted 5.5 hours from AttorneyWard's claim. Officer Roussel also challenges time spent in connection with preparingParker's proposed Amended Complaint and on related tasks. (Fees Opp. Ex.B). Parker sought to amend the Complaint on the eve of trial bysubstituting a 74 page document with 361 numbered paragraphs, none ofwhich, as conceded by Attorney Ward at the hearing on his motion toamend, added any substantive claims or additional defendants to theoriginal 20 page, 60 paragraph, complaint. The proposed amendments wereunnecessary and untimely, and the motion to amend was denied by thecourt. Thus, 7.5 hours in attorney time and 1.4 hours in paralegal timehave been deducted. Attorney Ward also Seeks to recover time he spent interacting with themedia, which Officer Roussel challenges. (Fees Opp. Ex. C). Since"[r]eported federal cases are unanimous in denying awards of attorneys'fees for media-related time to individual civil rights plaintiffs," thecourt has deducted this time. McLaughlin v. Boston SchoolCommittee, 976 F. Supp. 53, 72 (D. Mass. 1997), and cases cited.Moreover, the fact that the majority of this time occurred after theverdict was returned further supports the conclusion that this wasclearly not compensable time. See Id. (citing Hensley v.Eckerhart, 461 U.S. at 433, 103 S.Ct. at 1939 (only hours "expended`on the litigation'"Page 23may be compensated)). In addition to the time listed on Fees Opp.Ex. C, the court also has deducted a total of .8 hours of paralegal timespent on 6/3/03 and 2/19/03 communicating with the press, and anadditional .2 of Attorney Ward's time on 5/30/03 for the same reasons. Officer Roussel also challenges, and this court has deducted, 1.7 hoursof attorney time and 16.7 hours in paralegal time spent on researchingand analyzing the issue of whether an independent expert should beappointed to assess the integrity of Swansea's and Somerset's 911 audiotapes for the night of the incident. (Fees Opp. Ex. D).[fn10] Parkerproffered no evidence to the effect that the tapes had actually beentampered with, and elected not to pursue the investigation as it was notnecessary to his case. Consequently, the defendant should not be chargedfor this time. Officer Roussel also challenges the time expended in connection withMr. Frank Saunders, a liability expert Parker identified, but ultimatelydropped without explanation. (Fees Opp. Ex. E). This work was notnecessary for the presentation of Parker's case, and 7.6 hours ofattorney time and 9.3 hours of paralegal time will be deductedaccordingly.[fn11]Page 24Officer Roussel asserts that 11.5 hours billed for investigatingthe pursuit route and scene of the shooting on three occasions wasunnecessary, and that 4 hours should have been sufficient. (Fees Opp. at13-14 & Ex. F). This court disagrees. It was reasonable for AttorneyWard to familiarize himself with the scene. The investigations werereasonably spread out over time. Moreover, the videotape of the scenemade by the State Police was not, as Officer Roussel claims, an adequatesubstitute for an in-person viewing because, inter alia, thequality of the tape, which was presented at trial, was questionable andat best presented a limited view of the configuration of the vehiclesonly after the shooting. Thus, the court will not deduct the challengedtime. 3. Unsuccessful and Settled Claims Officer Roussel argues that the court "should delete all hours spent bythe plaintiff on failed claims against prevailing defendants, settledclaims against settling defendants, and his state law claims (for whichthere is no statutory right to recover fees) from the lodestar amount."(Fees Opp. at 14). Thus, according to Officer Roussel, 18.6 hours werespent researching state causes of action (Fees Opp. Ex. G) and 26.9 hourswere spent pursuing settled or prevailing co-defendants. (Fees Opp. at15-16 & Ex. H). For the reasons detailed herein, this court hasreduced Attorney Ward's hours by 16.8 hours as detailed below. When a party challenges a fee award on the basis that some hours werespent on unsuccessful claims, the key issue is the relationship betweenthe successful and unsuccessfulPage 25claims. See, e.g., Martinez v. Hodgson, 265 F. Supp.2d at141. As a general statement, "if unsuccessful claims are unconnected to,and easily severable from, the successful claims, hours spent on themwill not be compensable. . . . If, however, substantially related tothe successful claims, either because they share a common core of factsor are based upon related legal theories, hours spent on them will berecoverable." Id. Accord Figueroa-Torres v. Toledo-Davila,232 F.3d 270, 277 (1st Cir. 2000). In the instant case, Officer Roussel has not challenged the factualdevelopment of the state law claims which are so interrelated with thefederal claims that the work is compensable. He has, however, identifiedspecific entries relating to the research of state law claims which areseverable. This court concludes that these tasks are severable fromcompensable work and, consequently, 12.8 hours will be deducted.[fn12]See Phetosomphone v. Allison Reed Group, Inc.,984 F.2d 4, 7 (1st Cir. 1993) (where hours attributable to state law claimsare identifiable, they may be eliminated); Alfonso v. Aufiero,66 F. Supp.2d at 194-95 (where time spent on malicious prosecution claimwas discernible, it was appropriately eliminated as claim based ondistinct facts and law). Officer Roussel also challenges 26.9 hours he categorizes as being"readily identifiable as having been expended in pursuit of theplaintiff's claim against settlingPage 26co-defendants Cote and Somerset." (Fees Opp. at 15 & Ex.H)[fn13] While this court agrees that correspondence specificallyidentified as being with settling co-defendants should be excluded,[fn14]contrary to Officer Roussel's contention, this court does not find thattime spent in written discovery between Parker and the settlingdefendants should be deducted. Such discovery related to the developmentof common factual and legal scenarios which were necessary to thepresentation of Parker's successful claims. Similarly, this court has notdeducted the time spent in connection with common challenges undertakenby Somerset on behalf of all the defendants, such as the motion topreclude the use of plaintiff's expert (Docket # 57) or the motion tosequester plaintiff's witnesses (Docket # 109), which the Somersetdefendants filed. These challenges would have been made even in theabsence of Somerset. Therefore, after reviewing the challenged entries,the court has eliminated 4 hours.[fn15]Page 27 4. Travel Time Officer Roussel also challenges 36.3 hours that Attorney WardSee ks for traveling from his office in New London, Connecticutto Boston for depositions and court appearances on the grounds that heshould not have to subsidize Parker's decision to use out of statecounsel since there is no reason "that [Parker] could not have obtainedrepresentation on this claim from local counsel." (Fees Opp. at 17 &Exs. I, M). Officer Roussel has estimated that the round trip fromAttorney Ward's office to events in Boston took 3.3 hours, a figure whichParker did not dispute. This court agrees that Parker has not offered any"articulable reason for imposing on a local opponent the extra expensesassociated with retaining foreign counsel." Ackerley Comm. of Mass.,Inc. v. City of Somerville, 901 F.2d 170, 171 n.3 (1st Cir. 1990).See Guckenberger v. Boston Univ., 8 F. Supp.2d at 106 (traveltime deducted where, inter alia, retention of Californiacounsel was not essential but rather a "judgment call by theplaintiffs"). There is no question that there are many competent localattorneys who could have skillfully handled this case. Parker's decisionto opt for a Connecticut attorney was done at his own expense. Nevertheless, there certainly would be travel time associated with the11 trips to Boston at issue even if Massachusetts counsel had beeninvolved. Therefore, this court will assume travel time of 1 hour foreach of the trips and will treat such time as non-corePage 28work. See Alfonso v. Aufiero, 66 F. Supp.2d at 196(treating travel time as non-core work). 5. Excessive Time Officer Roussel contends that the amount of time billed for certaintasks was excessive in relation to the nature of that task. Whenevaluating fee petitions, "the presiding judge must draw [] on [her] ownexperience and wisdom [in] deciding whether the time spent on each phasewas in excess of a reasonable amount." Alfonso v. Aufiero,66 F. Supp.2d at 192 (alteration in original) (internal citation andquotation omitted). Based on this court's analysis, reductions will bemade as provided herein. As an initial matter, Officer Roussel Seeks to exclude a minimum of44.8 hours which he characterizes as having been spent by Attorney Ward"educating himself on basic issues of Federal Civil Procedure, FederalPractice, straightforward or generally known issues of federal law andMassachusetts state tort law." (Fees Opp. at 18-20 & Ex. J). However,after reviewing the challenged time entries, this court finds that mostof the time was spent researching specific issues related to this case,and was not simply generic work. Moreover, to the extent that the worktook more time for Attorney Ward than for a litigator with extensiveexperience in civil rights litigation, this court has addressed thisdiscrepancy by applying a lower hourly rate. Therefore, this challengedtime will not be eliminated for this reason, however, specific objectionswill be discussed infra.Page 29 Officer Roussel also disputes the reasonableness of 28 hours AttorneyWard allegedly spent reviewing Massachusetts State Police reports. (FeesOpp. at 26).[fn16] However, the crux of the case was derived from theinvestigation conducted by the State Police, including the eye witnessaccounts gathered by the State Police. Therefore, no deductions for thiswork will be made. Officer Roussel also challenges 15 hours of time Attorney Ward spentdrafting jury instructions. (Fees Opp. Ex. N). Admittedly, the endproduct was not as complete as the court would have wanted, but thiscourt does not find the time overly excessive as to second guess theamount of time claimed. On the other hand, the court does agree that Attorney Ward's claim for53.1 hours in connection with the motion for summary judgment isexcessive. (Fees Opp. Ex. P). In addition to the cursory nature of theend product, Attorney Ward does not distinguish between time spent inconnection with state law and other unsuccessful claims and compensableclaims. Where, as here, it is impossible to separate out legal servicesfor compensable and non-compensable claims, a general reduction isappropriate. See Martinez v. Hodgson, 265 F. Supp.2d at 141.Therefore, after a review of the pleadings, the court will reduce thehours in Exhibit. P to a total of 30 core hours. Officer Roussel also challenges the time spent "researching basicpoints of federal law and procedure" as excessive. (Fees Opp. at 28 &Ex. J). Except for specificPage 30objections discussed, infra, this court finds thatreducing Attorney Ward's hourly rate will take care of any excessivecharge and no further reductions will be made. Next, without itemizing the challenged entries, Officer Rousselcontends that the court should deduct 62.8 hours spent in connecting with"charting and re-outlining the facts of the matter." (Fees Opp. at28).[fn17] After an exhaustive review of the records, the court has foundonly 37.5 hours falling into this category. While these entries allinvolve the "facts" of the case, for the most part the tasks focused ondifferent aspects of the case. Therefore, this court finds that the timewas not excessive, and will not deduct any hours on this basis. Officer Roussel further objects to the fact that both Attorney Ward andMs. Marable each billed more than 4 hours per day (generally 8 hours) foreach trial day without specifying what, if any, tasks were performedafter court time ended. (Fees Opp. Ex. Q). Officer Roussel further arguesthat the trial day was only 4 hours long.[fn18] As an initial matter,however, this court notes that on several days many hours were spent incourt in connection with motions, which, in and of itself, made the courtday longer than 4 hours. Moreover, because Attorney Ward "was working onthe case largely by himself" and the trial was underway, long hours areto be expected. Alfonso v. Aufiero,Page 3166 F. Supp.2d at 194. Nevertheless, in view of Attorney Ward'sfailure to provide any information as to the work done on the trial daysbeyond the trial time, the time will be allocated 6 hours core work andthe balance non-core work on trial days. Officer Roussel also challenges 9.5 hours attributed to preparation ofa motion in limine concerning "character issues."[fn19] Parkerhad filed a motion in limine Seeking to exclude severalcategories of evidence, including "character evidence" of Parker, much ofwhich he, himself, later introduced in connection with his damages claim;various statements of individuals who were not called to testify; and avery generalized challenge to defendants' experts. This court agrees thatthe time spent on this motion was excessive, and will eliminate 3.5hours. Officer Roussel also challenges several hours attributed to "voir dire"on the grounds the time was excessive. (Fees Opp. at 29). Again, OfficerRoussel has failed to specify which entries he is challenging on thisground. After reviewing Parker's submissions, the court has identified 4hours as having been spent exclusively on voire dire issues (4/19/03& 4/29/03). Entries totalling 23 hours include some mention of workrelating to the voire dire.[fn20] After reviewing all these entries,however, the courtPage 32does not find the time charged excessive, and no deductions will bemade for this objection. Finally, Officer Roussel challenges 20.9 paralegal hours for what hecharacterizes as clerical and secretarial functions. (Fees Opp. Ex. J).The court has reviewed the challenged entries and finds that, for themost part, the time charged was appropriate as it constituted worknormally done by a paralegal. However, the court has eliminated 6.3 hoursof paralegal time which, in this court's view, was either unnecessary(for example, as it related to the audio tape described above) orconstituted routine mailings (as opposed to drafting letters) whichshould have been performed by a secretary and is nonchargeable. Inaddition, the court eliminated 1.1 hours of Attorney Ward's time for thesame reason.[fn21] 6. The Resulting Lodestar Performing the calculations by multiplying $180/hour x 485.7 core hoursand $120/hour x 94.7 non-core hours results in a lodestar of $98,790 forAttorney Ward. Multiplying $30/hour x 465.3 hours results in a lodestarof $13,959 for Ms. Marable. The court will now evaluate Officer Roussel'scontention that a downward adjustment is warranted in this case.Page 33 D. Adjusting the Lodestar Officer Roussel argues that the court should reduce the lodestar toaccount for Parker's limited success in the overall lawsuit. This courtagrees that some reduction is appropriate, but not the significantreduction requested by the defendant.[fn22] "Once established, the lodestar represents a presumptively reasonablefee, although it is subject to upward or downward adjustment in certaincircumstances." Lipsett v. Blanco, 975 F.2d at 937. However,while "the trial court retains the authority to adjust the lodestar afterinitially computing it — . . . [it] must do so in accordance withaccepted principles." Coutin v. Young & Rubicam Puerto Rico,Inc., 124 F.3d 331, 337 (1st Cir. 1997). Thus, it is generallyrecognized that "[i]f a plaintiff prevails on only some of multipleclaims, then a fee reduction may be in order." Id. at 339. Tothe extent that claims are not interrelated, i.e., where theyrest on different facts and legal theories, "they are by definitionseverable and unrelated" and time spent in connection with unsuccessful,severable claims should be eliminated. Id. As detailed above,the court has already deducted time for such severable, unsuccessfulclaims. The situation presented here is one where the plaintiff prevailedon only a limited subset of his interrelated § 1983Page 34claims, and recovered a significant, but not overwhelming, verdict.Under such circumstances, "the trial court has discretion to shrink thefees to reflect that inferior result." Id. Where, as here,"multiple claims are interrelated and a plaintiff has achieved onlylimited success, awarding [him] the entire lodestar amount wouldordinarily be excessive." Alfonso v. Aufiero, 66 F. Supp.2d at198 (internal citations omitted). "The guiding principle, nonetheless, isthat a court `should award only that amount of fees that is reasonable inrelation to the results obtained' at trial." Id. (internalcitations omitted). "Results obtained" is determined by considering, incombination, the "plaintiff's success claim by claim," "the reliefactually achieved" and "the societal importance of the right which hasbeen vindicated." Alfonso v. Aufiero, 66 F. Supp.2d at 198(quoting Coutin v. Young & Rubicam Puerto Rico, Inc., 124F.3d at 338). Applying these principles to the instant case warrants areduction in the lodestar amount of 15%. The "claim by claim" factor militates strongly in favor of reducing thefee. This inquiry "focuses on the number of substantive causes of actionon which a plaintiff prevailed. . . . If a plaintiff prevails on onlysome of multiple claims, then a fee reduction may be in order."Alfonso v. Aufiero, 66 F. Supp.2d at 198 (internal citation andquotation omitted). Here, leaving aside the settled claims, Parker onlyprevailed against one of four defendants and on two of fourteen claims.Moreover, although as originally plead Parker's § 1983 claims againstthe individual officers alleged violationsPage 35of approximately eight constitutional rights, he waived all but oneof those grounds prior to trial. (Compl. ¶ 47(a)-(h)). Significantly, the municipal liability claims, on which Parker did notprevail, were of clear importance during the trial. Parker focused agreat deal of effort on highlighting alleged deficiencies in the policiesof the Police Department and continued to pursue his challenges to theconstitutionality of police policies in his post trial proceedings. Thefact that Parker did not prevail against the majority of the defendantsand on claims he clearly deemed an important part of his case, indicatesthat a reduction is appropriate. See Alfonso v. Aufiero,66 F. Supp.2d at 200.[fn23] The amount of the award was not insubstantial, especially in view ofthe evidence presented. The award to Parker was "more than enough tocompensate him for any medical expenses resulting from the use ofexcessive force[.]" Id. There was virtually no evidencepresented as to any lost wages, and the testimony the plaintiff electedto present as to the pain and suffering he endured was very limited.While the verdict fell short of what Parker was See king, itwas not insignificant. Therefore, considering the amount of damagesawarded does not militate for or against a modification of the lodestaramount.Page 36 Finally, the verdict in this case is of some public significance inthat a police officer who shot at a suspect without taking time to assessthe situation was found liable. Presumably, this verdict will have adeterrent effect on other officers and, as such, "constitutes a measureof success" for the plaintiff. Id. On the other hand, thevalidity of the policies and practices of the Towns was affirmed, and theother individual officers were found to have acted reasonably, despitehaving fired upon Parker. Consequently, this case cannot be considered tobe one involving great public significance beyond the borders of thoseinvolved. "A reduced fee award is appropriate if the relief, however significant,is limited in comparison to the scope of the litigation as a whole."Id. (quoting Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. at 440,103 S.Ct. at 1933). This court finds that a reduction of 15% isappropriate here in light of plaintiff's loss against the municipalitieson theories central to the case, and in light of his loss against alldefendants other than Officer Roussel. Alfonso v. Aufiero,66 F. Supp.2d at 200. "Any greater reduction would undermine the modestsuccess achieved." Id. at 200-201. Thus, reducing the total ofAttorney Ward's and Ms. Marable's lodestar amounts ($112,749) by 15%($16,912.35) results in $95,836.65 in compensable legal fees. E. Costs Parker has also submitted a bill of costs (attached to Docket # 139)wherein he is Seeking $15,695.30 for charges related to this litigation.Officer Roussel has objected toPage 37many of the charges on the grounds that they are non-taxable orthat they were not necessary for the presentation of the case. Afterreviewing the costs and objections, this court will award Parker$11,758.40 in costs. "[C]osts other than attorneys' fees shall be allowed as of course tothe prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs[.]" Fed.R. Civ.P. 54(d). When costs are sought based on the combination of Rule 54(d)and 42 U.S.C. § 1988, the costs taxable are those enumerated in28 U.S.C. § 1920 and the "reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred bythe attorney and normally charged to the client[.]" Poy v.Boutselis, 352 F.3d at 490 (internal citation and quotationomitted). Section 1920 allows taxation of: (1) Fees of the clerk and marshal; (2) Fees of the court reporter for all or any part of the stenographic transcript necessarily obtained for use in the case; (3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses; (4) Fees for exemplification and copies of papers necessarily obtained for use in the case; (5) Docket fees under section 1923 of this title; (6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services. . . . Officer Roussel first objects to the travel expenses for counsel,counsel's staff and Parker because they are not recoverable under28 U.S.C. § 1920. (Objection to Plaintiff'sPage 38Bill of Costs ("Costs Opp.") Ex. A). However, in assessingcosts in civil rights cases, the court is not restricted to the costsenumerated in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. See Poy v. Boutselis, 352F.3d at 490 (citing System Management, Inc. v. Loiselle,154 F. Supp.2d 195, 204 (D. Mass. 2001)). Therefore, further analysis isrequired. The gas, parking, tolls and telephone expenses are common,out-of-pocket expenses which are normally billed separately to the clientand are, therefore, recoverable. See Alfonso v. Aufiero,66 F. Supp.2d at 201-02 (parking, mileage, and telephone charges, among othercosts, are not part of overhead and are allowable under42 U.S.C. § 1988). Moreover, the amounts charged are not significantlygreater than would have been charged by local counsel, so no reductionis needed. A more difficult question is raised in connection with thehotel costs being sought. There is no question that where an overnightstay is reasonably necessary to the presentation of the case, hotelcosts may be recoverable, even though they are not provided for under§ 1920. See Grendel's Den, Inc. v. Larkin, 749 F.2d at 957 (onenight hotel stay for counsel arguing case at United States Supreme Courtallowed). Here, however, as noted above, the plaintiff has provided noinformation as to why out-of-state counsel was necessary. IfMassachusetts counsel had been used, it would have been unlikely that thehotel costs would have been incurred, except for the plaintiff himself.Parker has not responded to Officer Roussel's objections to these costs,so the court has no explanation as to the need for the hotelPage 39charges. Therefore, this court has deducted the $908.28 charges forboth Attorney Ward and Ms. Marable, and the $40 charged for a deposit atComfort Inn & Suites. Officer Roussel next challenges the $900 spenton an "audio tape analysis" (Costs Opp. Ex. B), presumably conducted byan expert. Not only was this information not used in presenting Parker'scase, the analysis relates to a theory which Parker decided not topursue.[fn24] Consequently, the $900 has been disallowed. Officer Roussel further challenges the charges for research on thegrounds that the subject of the research is not identifed. (Costs Opp. ExC). Unlike the time sheet entries, Parker has made no effort to identifythe subject matter of any of the "research" charges. Since most ofParker's claims were unsuccessful, a reduction of 50% in the researchcharges for 7/15/03, 7/9/03 and 5/29/03 is appropriate given the lack ofdescription. Officer Roussel also challenges what he characterizes as "routineoffice overhead," textbooks and electronics. (Costs Opp. Ex. D). However,after a careful review of the challenged entries, this court finds that,with the exception of one textbook, and a timer, the charges "are withinreasonable limits and bear a rational relation to the extent of thislitigation." Alfonso v. Aufiero, 66 F. Supp.2d at 201."[I]dentifiable, outof-pocket costs such as these, which are normallybilled separately to the client, `are notPage 40properly treated as overhead expenses for purposes of a feeaward.'" Id. (quoting LeBlanc-Sternberg v. Fletcher,143 F.3d 748, 763 (2d Cir. 1998). The use of overnight delivery, to which Officer Roussel objects, hasbecome routine regardless of need for expediency. In some future case,that issue may have to be decided, but given the limited amount requestedthis court will not make any deductions for overnight mailing, except forthe FedEx mailings to J. Chapdelaine who, as detailed above, was involvedin analyzing the audio tape, a process for which there will be norecovery since it was not necessary to the presentation of Parker's case. This court will, however, disallow the $12.15 charge for a "Radio ShackTimer, audio cassette tape" as such items were not, to this court'sknowledge, used in the presentation of Parker's case. This court also will disallow $40.95 spent on a textbook onMassachusetts Criminal Law & Procedure, as this appears to be astandard, general text which could be either obtained from the library orwhich should have been in counsel's library already. This court will not,however, disallow the book Street Survival-Police Tactics, as it appearsto be directly related to this case. Finally, Officer Roussel challenges costs of expedited transcripts. Itappears from the bill of costs that any "expedited" transcript related totrial testimony (See, e.g., testimony of Richard Roussel— expedited on 6/13/03) and was reasonable given the criticalnature of the testimony. Therefore, there will be no deduction fortranscript charges.Page 41 III. CONCLUSION For the reasons detailed herein, Parker's "Motion for Plaintiff'sAttorney's Fees and Costs" (Docket # 139) is ALLOWED IN PART and DENIEDIN PART. Officer Roussel shall pay Parker $95,836.65 for legal fees and$11,758.40 for costs, for a total of $107,595.05. Judgment shall enteraccordingly. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1961, post judgmentinterest shall accrue on this award from June 17, 2003, the date thiscourt entered the judgment nunc pro tunc which "unconditionallyentitle[d] the prevailing party to reasonable attorney fees." Assoc.Gen. Contractors of Oh., Inc. v. Drabik, 250 F.3d 482, 486, 494-95(6th Cir. 2001) (adopting majority view that post judgement interestaccrues on attorney's fee award on date prevailing party becomes entitledto such award rather than when the sum is actually quantified), and casescited. See also Foley v. City of Lowell, Mass., 948 F.2d 10, 22n.16 (1st Cir. 1991) (court leaves open question "whether postjudgmentinterest begins to accrue from the date a judgment expressly andunconditionally establishing a party's right to attorneys' fees isentered or from the date of a judgment that establishes the quantum ofsuch fees" since the original judgment did not mention attorneys' fees).

2. Because the assault and battery claim substantially overlappedwith the excessive force claim, with the agreement of the parties thatthe jury's verdict on the constitutional claim would be controlling onthe state law claim, the court did not specifically instruct the jury onthe assault and battery claim.

3. It is well settled that time spent by paralegals can be recoveredunder 42 U.S.C. § 1988. See, e.g., Lipsett v. Blanco,975 F.2d 934, 939 (1st Cir. 1992).

4. Under "special circumstances" it may be appropriate for a courtto deny a prevailing party any attorneys' fees. Poy v.Boutselis, 352 F.3d 479, 490 (1st Cir. 2003). However, suchcircumstances, which include, "irresponsible litigation strategy, minimalaccomplishment, and intolerable overclaiming" do not exist here.Id. Moreover, the defendant's cursory reference to this claimdoes not rise to the level of a justicable argument. See UnitedStates v. Bongiorno, 106 F.3d 1027, 1034 (1st Cir. 1997).

5. In his "Supplemental Objection to Plaintiff's Request for Paymentof Fees" (Docket # 148) Officer Roussel contends that Attorney Friedman'saffidavit should be stricken. That request is denied. While, as detailedinfra, this court agrees that there are inadequacies in theaffidavit and in the evidence submitted by Parker in general, there arefacts contained in Attorney Friedman's affidavit which are not disputedand which are helpful to the court in setting the appropriate rate.

6. This court notes that James Simpson represented the Somersetdefendants in this litigation.

7. No proceedings were held on June 11, 2003.

8. To the extent that any excessive charges due to uncertainties inthe entries exist, they will be taken care of in connection with otherreductions.

9. Some of Ms. Marable's entries are more troublesome as they evenmore general than Attorney Ward's, and leave the court to guess as towhether the work done should truly be compensable. Given the very lowrate charged and the overall reduction to the lodestar figures (asdiscussed infra), however, no specific reductions will be madein Ms. Marable's billings either due to the generality of the workdescriptions.

10. In addition to the time listed on Fees Opp. Ex. D totaling 14.4hours, this court has also excluded the following paralegal time: 6/5/03(.1), 6/4/03 (.5), 5/31/03 (.1), 5/9/03 (.5), 5/5/03 (.5), 5/2/03 (.1)and 2/19/03 (.5).

11. In addition to the time listed on Fees Opp. Ex. E, the court hasdeducted .2 hours of Attorney Ward's time for 5/16/03.

12. Although Officer Roussel has objected to 18.6 hours as found inFees Opp. Ex. G, this court finds that the challenged entries of 4/11/98,1/18/00, 2/8/00 are not limited to state law claims and will not bestricken. Therefore, this court only has reduced the hours claimed by12.8 hours.

13. The total hours challenged in Ex. H is 27.7 hours, not26.9.

14. See Martinez v. Hodgson, 265 F. Supp.2d at 140, wheretime spent solely in connection with settling party eliminated wheresettlement agreement included attorneys' fees. Here, although OfficerRoussel challenged the time spent in connection with settling parties,Parker did not respond and did not argue that its settlement with theSomerset defendants did not cover attorneys' fees.

15. The court has adopted Fees Opp. Ex. H except for the challengedentries dated 6/7/01, 7/19/01, 9/28/01, 9/20/01 (3 entries), 9/18/01,9/17/01 (2 entries), 9/15/01, 2/25/02, 3/30/02, 3/18/02 (4 entries),3/14/02 (3 entries), 3/8/02, 3/2/02, 9/19/02.

16. It is unclear which entries the defendant is disputing. AlthoughOfficer Roussel cites to Exhibit M of his materials, that exhibitcontains no records corresponding to this category.

17. Officer Roussel failed to itemize these challenged entries. Thecourt finds this work to have been done on the following dates: 2/6/98(or 1999) (2.5), 2/7/98 (or 1999) (3.5), 9/10/98(3), 10/6/98 (3.5),10/8/98(4), 10/10/98(3), 2/12/99 (1.7), 5/22/99(1), 6/26/99 (1.3),1/18/00 (2.5), 11/18/00(2), 9/5/01(4) 12/1/01 (2.5) and 8/3/02(3).

18. Trial was scheduled for 9:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M. daily.

19. Although not specifically identified by Officer Roussel, thecourt found these charges to have been made on 5/3/03 (3.5 hours), 5/4/03(4 hours) and 5/9/03 (2 hours).

20. See entries for work performed on 2/4/03 (.5), 4/19/03(2.0), 4/29/03 (2.0), 4/28/03 (6.5), 5/31/03 (5.5) and 6/1/03 (6.5).

21. The paralegal entries eliminated were charged on 5/16/03 (.2),5/14/03 (.2), 5/6/03 (.4), 5/5/03 (.5), 4/22/03 (.2), 4/17/03 (.2),4/15/03 (.3), 4/15/03 (.3), 4/10/03 (.2), 4/10/03 (.3), 2/28/03 (.2),2/22/03 (.3), 1/17/03 (.2), 9/30/02 (.3), 9/23/02 (.5), 6/24/02 (.3),5/2/02 (.4), 9/19/01 (.3), 9/19/01 (.5), 9/19/01 (.5). The attorneyentries eliminated were charged on 2/16/01 (.3), 9/20/01 (.2) (4entries).

22. Without citing any legal authority, Officer Roussel asserts thatthe court should only allocate 1/6 of the fees prior to the settlementwith the Somerset defendants and 1/4 of the expenses thereafter to himsince he should not have to pay for failed claims against the otherdefendants. However, Officer Roussel has not provided any legal basis forreducing the fee in this manner. While the court agrees in principal thatthe fees should be reduced based on Parker's limited success, the courtwill not implement the method for which Officer Roussel advocates.

23. Since the work done on these constitutional claims were notseparated from the constitutional claims on which Parker prevailed, thetime has not been previously reduced for these unsuccessfulconstitutional claims.

24. Since the costs at issue were not necessary to the presentationof Parker's case and, therefore, not taxable on that basis, this courtdoes not need to address the split within this District as to whetherexpert fees are recoverable in suits brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.Compare, e.g., McLaughlin v. Boston School Committee,976 F. Supp. at 69 (expert fees not taxable in § 1983 cases) withGuckenberger v. Boston Univ., 8 F. Supp.2d at 111-12 (expert fees arerecoverable).

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