demand letter that was coercive and fraudulent. The plaintiff sought to represent a class of similarly situated individuals seeking compensatory damages, statutory and punitive damages, injunctive relief, as well as costs and attorneys’ fees. During the course of the litigation, the scale of the case was greatly reduced. First the Court, adopting the report and recommendation of a magistrate judge, dismissed one defendant and eleven of the nineteen counts. What remained were overlapping common law fraud claims, one count seeking declaratory relief for fraud on the copyright office, and one count for violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A (“Chapter 93A”). The scope of litigation was further reduced in March 2013 when the Court denied class certification. As pared down, the case was the individual claim of the named plaintiff against the law firm, associated copyright group and individual lawyers. The amount of the agreed judgment is $1,059.84 in actual damages, trebled to $3,179.52 under Chapter 93A, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees to be determined, as well as customary costs. The plaintiff’s petition seeks $362,767 in fees. DGW argues that the amount claimed is excessive and suggests a much lower amount. Success on a Chapter 93A claim allows for the collection of “reasonable attorney’s fees.” Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A, § 9(4). Under Massachusetts law, “[t]he basic measure of reasonable attorney’s fees is a ‘fair market rate for the time reasonably spent preparing and litigating a case.’” Stowe v. Bologna
629 N.E.2d 304, 307 (Mass. 1994) (abrogated on other grounds); This is known as the “lodestar” method. Fontaine v. Ebtec Corp.,
613 N.E.2d 881, 890 (Mass. 1993); Ross v. Cont’l Res., Inc., 899 N.E.2d 847, 861 (Mass. App. Ct. 2009) (Chapter 93A attorney’s fees are determined by lodestar method). The results produced by the lodestar approach “should govern unless there are special reasons to depart from them.” Stratos v. Department of Pub.
Case 1:10-cv-12043-GAO Document 139 Filed 03/27/14 Page 2 of 6