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Reply Mot Attys Fees3 Sgt Sarver v Nicolas Chartier

Reply Mot Attys Fees3 Sgt Sarver v Nicolas Chartier

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Published by Lara Pearson

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Published by: Lara Pearson on Dec 14, 2011
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REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR AWARD OF ATTORNEYS’ FEES – BY SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
DAVID HALBERSTADTER (SBN 107033)david.halberstadter@kattenlaw.comSALLY WU (SBN 266294)sally.wu@kattenlaw.comKATTEN MUCHIN ROSENMAN LLP2029 Century Park EastSuite 2600Los Angeles, CA 90067-3012Telephone: 310.788.4400Facsimile: 310.788.4471Attorneys for DefendantSUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTCENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SGT. JEFFREY S. SARVER,Plaintiff,vs.THE HURT LOCKER, LLC; MARKBOAL; KATHRYN BIGELOW;GREG SHAPIRO; NICOLASCHARTIER; TONY MARK; DONALLMCCLUSKER; SUMMITENTERTAINMENT, LLC; VOLTAGEPICTURES, LLC; GROSVENORPARK MEDIA, LP; FIRST LIGHTPRODUCTIONS, INC.; KINGSGATEFILMS, INC. and PLAYBOYENTERPRISES, INC., Jointly andSeverally,Defendants.)))))))))))))))))))))))Case No. 2:10-cv-09034-JHN (JCx)
REPLY MEMORANDUM OFPOINTS AND AUTHORITIES INSUPPORT OF MOTION FORAWARD OF ATTORNEYS’ FEESBY DEFENDANT SUMMITENTERTAINMENT, LLC
Date: December 12, 2011Time: 2:00 p.m.Courtroom: 790
 Assigned to the Honorable Jacqueline H. Nguyen
Case 2:10-cv-09034-JHN -JC Document 145 Filed 11/28/11 Page 1 of 11 Page ID#:2138
 
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MOTION FOR AWARD OF ATTORNEYS FEES’ – BY SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
I.
 
INTRODUCTION.
By his omnibus opposition to the motions for an award of attorneys’ fees filedby the various prevailing Defendants (the “Opposition”), Plaintiff Sgt. Jeffrey S.Sarver (“Plaintiff”) argues (i) that neither Defendant Summit Entertainment, LLC(“Summit”) nor the other moving defendants presented evidence establishing that thehourly rates charged in connection with their respective anti-SLAPP motions(collectively, the “Anti-SLAPP Motion”) are consistent with the prevailing rates in theCentral District of California, (ii) that the total fees billed by Summit’s counsel (aswell as the other defendants’ counsel) were excessive and (iii) that specific entries onthe billing records submitted in connection with the various Defendants’ feeapplications are subject to challenge, deletion or reduction.In fact, the Opposition provides no basis either for denying Summit’s motionfor attorneys’ fees (the “Motion”) or for substantially reducing the amount of feesrequested by Summit. The Motion was amply supported by evidence establishing thatthe hourly rates charged by Summit’s counsel were substantially below the prevailingrates in this District for attorneys of comparable education, experience and expertise;and the Opposition offers no evidence to challenge this. The Opposition likewisedoes not offer any evidence to support the assertion that the total fees billed bySummit’s counsel were excessive. To the contrary, the amount of fees and costsrequested by Summit are justified and reasonable and amply supported by the invoicesconcurrently submitted with the Motion.The remainder of Plaintiff’s objections to Summit’s time entries aredemonstrably untrue: the entries on the billing records for Summit’s attorneys do notvary substantially from those on the billing records submitted by the other defendants;Summit’s time entries are neither vague nor block-billed; all of Summit’s billingentries clearly evidence that the time billed was incurred in connection with the Anti-SLAPP Motion, and Summit’s counsel does not seek recovery for opposing Plaintiff’srequest for additional time to respond to the Anti-SLAPP Motion or for the
Case 2:10-cv-09034-JHN -JC Document 145 Filed 11/28/11 Page 2 of 11 Page ID#:2139
 
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REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR AWARD OF ATTORNEYS’ FEES – BY SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
supplemental briefing that took place following the hearing on that motion, eventhough recovery of such fees would have been appropriate.
1
 For all of these reasons, addressed in greater detail below, Summit respectfullyrequests that the Court grant the Motion and award Summit the total sum of $65,994.78, comprising $61,717.50 in attorneys’ fees and $4,277.28 in recoverablecosts.
II.
 
THE ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND COSTS REQUESTED BY SUMMITARE REASONABLE AND APPROPRIATE.A.
 
The Motion Demonstrates That The Hourly Rates Charged BySummit’s Counsel Are Consistent With, If Not Lower Than, ThePrevailing Rates In This District.
Summit’s lead counsel, a partner with nearly 30 years of experience whospecializes in entertainment-related and intellectual property litigation, billed his timeat a discounted rate of $450 for the defense of this matter. His customary hourly rateis $650. Based upon his personal knowledge, Mr. Halberstadter testified that thehourly rates charged to Summit were substantially below those typically charged byattorneys in the Los Angeles area with comparable years of experience and expertise,and were most certainly “reasonable.”
2
Both Mr. Gorry (counsel for the Hurt LockerDefendants) and Mr. Reynolds (counsel for Defendants Boal and Bigelow) submittedsimilar sworn testimony. Nevertheless, Plaintiff argues that Defendants failed topresent evidence establishing that their hourly rates are consistent with the prevailingrates in this District, suggesting that the declarations of counsel are insufficient by
1
 
Additionally, Plaintiff has failed to oppose Summit’s request for third partycosts incurred, in the sum of $4,277.28, thereby conceding that the costs arereasonable and recoverable.
2
 
Given that Mr. Halberstadter’s current hourly rate is $650 per hour, his reducedbilling rate of $450 for this matter is presumptively reasonable. Mandel v. Lackner,92 Cal. App. 3d 747, 761 (1979) (“The value of an attorney’s time generally isreflected in his normal billing rate”).
 
Case 2:10-cv-09034-JHN -JC Document 145 Filed 11/28/11 Page 3 of 11 Page ID#:2140

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