H.C. vs. Bradshaw, FL, Order on Motion for Attorney's Fees, Juvenile Solitary Confinement, 2019
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Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 1 of 29 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SO UTHERN D ISTRICT OF FLORID A CivilN o.18-cv-80810-M atthewm an H .C .,etal., FILED BY Plaintiffs, D,C. 02T 1t)2g15 V S. ANGEL NO CL ERKUASE.OI S-IL E 1.C'E s.n.os z/t.$,-w.Rn. R IC BR AD SH A W ,e/al., Defendants. O R D ER G M N TIN G IN PAR T A ND DEN Y IN G IN PA R T PLA IN TIFFS'W R IFIED M OTION FOR ATTORNEYS'FEES AND CO STS (DE 871 TH IS CAU SE isbefore the Courtupon Plaintiffs',H .C.,a m inor,by and through hisparent and natural guardian,Jermy C.;M .F.,a m inor,by and through his parent and naturalguardian, AsisaRolle;andT.M .,byandthroughhisparentandnatlzralguardian,JessicaJoiner(collectively, Csplaintiffs'')VerifedM otionforAttorneys'FeesandCosts(tsM otion'')(DE 87J.DefendantItick Bradshaw,Palm Beach County Sheriff(sçtheSheriff'),hasfiledaResponse(DE 921,Defendant SchoolBoard ofPalm Beach County (Cçthe SchoolBoard'')hastiled aResponse EDE 931,and PlaintiffshavefiledaReply (DE 981.Thismatterisnow ripeforreview. BA CK G R O UN D OnJtme21,2018,PlaintiffsfiledaClass-ActionComplaintforlnjunctiveandDeclaratory Relief(DE 1jandaM otionforPreliminaryInjunction(DE 6).PlaintiffsfiledtheirFirstAmended ComplaintonAugust2,2018(DE 38j.TheCourtscheduledanevidentiaryhearingontheM otion forPreliminaryInjunction andsetotherdeadlinesrelated to themotion.(DE 31q.OnNovember 15,2018,afterthepartieshadengaged in discovery,filed andresponded totwo setsofmotionsto Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 2 of 29 dismiss,fullybriefedtheM otionforPreliminarylnjtmction,andfiledwitnessandexhibitlists,the parties filed a Joint M otion to Conditionally Certify Class,Prelim inarily A pprove Settlem ent, AppointClassCotmsel,and SetFairnessHearing gDE 78). TheCourtentered an Ordergrantingtheparties'JointM otion (DE 791.ARertheCourt held a fairness hearing on M arch 5, 2019, it entered a Final Ordyr Approving Class-A ction SettlementAgreement,AppointmentofClassCotmseland Certification ofClass (DE 861.The Courtdismissçd the actipn with prejudice.f#.Additionally,the Courtretainedjurisdiction çsto consider al1further applications arising out of or in cormection w ith the Settlem entA greem ent, including m onitoring,enforcem ent,and attorneys'fees and costs.''1d.atp.4. II. M O TIO N .R ESPO N SES.AN D REPL Y In their M otion, Plaintiffs argue that they are the prevailing parties and that they are entitledto attorneys'feesand costsin theamountof$645,822.78.(DE 87,pp.6,22).Plaintiffs specificallycontendthattheyareentitledtoattorneys'feesandcostspursuantto42U.S.C.j1988 (forSection 1983 claims),42 U.S.C.j 12205(forADA claims),20U.S.C.j 1415(i)(3)@ )(for IDEA claims),and29U.S.C.j794a(b)(forRehabilitationActclaims).(DE 87,p.7).According toPlaintiffs,Cohen M ilsteinbilled324.25hoursandbilled $148,050.00in fees,theHum anRights D efenseCenterbilled 586.70 hoursand billed $198,852.50in fees,andLegalAid Society ofPalm Beach County billed 450.85 hours and billed $227,011.25 in fees.1d. Plaintiffs' counsel discounted all of the claim ed attorneys' fees by 10% for a total attorneys' fee aw ard of $606,526.00.1d.atp.7.Plaintiffsarealso claiming $39,296.78in costsincurredby theirattorneys. f#.Finally,Plaintiffs assertthatthey obtained substantialsuccess,thatthe hotzrly ratesthey seek fortheirattorneysare reasonable,thatthey seek com pensation for a reasonable num berofhotlrs, andthattheirattorneysexercisedtheirbillingjudgmentbycuttingal1billableholzrsby 10% .1d.at Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 3 of 29 pp.9-20). In his Response,the Sheriff argues that this w as (inot a contentious law suit and it was resolved ratherquickly.''(DE 92,p.21.The SheriffconcedesthatPlaintiffsarethe prevailing parties and are entitled to reasonable fees and costs, but he challenges the reasonableness of Plaintiffs'counsel'sholzrlyratesandthereasonablenessofthenllmberofhoursexpended.f#.atp. 4.H ealso challengesthe taxable costssoughtby Plaintiffsasuntim ely and m ostofthe non-taxable litigation expenses as unreasonable.Id.The Sheriffcontends thatPlaintiffs should be awarded $260,690.50 in attorneys'feesand $131.33 in costs,foratotalof$260,821.83.1d.atp.39.The Sheriff'sspeciticargumentsandobjectionsshallbediscussedinmoredetaillaterinthisOrder. In its Response,the SchoolBoard joins and adopts the objections,arguments, and calculationssetforthintheSheric sResponse.gDE 93,p.1).TheSchoolBoardalsorequeststhat the Colzrtperm itthe parties to çisubm it supplem entalm em oranda regarding the apportionm entof fees and costs once the Courthas nzled on the reasonableness and nm ountofPlaintiffs'fees and costs.''Id atp.2. In reply,Plaintiffs argue that Defendants'objections Esdo notwarrant orjustify the w holesale reduction of Plaintiffs' attorneysifees by nearly 61% ,nor are their proposed hourly rates for Plaintiffs'counsel consistent w ith the prevailing m arket rates in Palm Beach County.'' (DE 98,p.1).AccordingtoPlaintiffs,Defendants'objectionstothefeesandcostsclaimedarealso largely without m erit.Id. Plaintiffs also seek attorneys' fees for the litigation based on the attorneys'feesandcostsissue.f#.atp.18.IntheirReply,Plaintiffsseek $631,736.25 in attorneys' feesand $30,644.39 in costs,foratotalof$662,380.64.1d.atp.21. Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 4 of 29 111. DISCU SSIO N A . Attornevs'Fees 1. Attorneys'FeesA reA ppropriate as PlaintiffsA re the Prevailin: Party There is no dispute that Plaintiffs are entitled to an aw ard of attorneys'fees and costs ptlrsuantto42U.S.C.j 1988(b)(foraSection 1983claim,itthecoult initsdiscretion,mayallow theprevailingparty,otherthantheUnitedStates,areasonableattorney'sfeeaspartofthecosts''); pursuantto 42 U.S.C.j 12205 (forADA claims,the court,in itsdiscretion,ttmay allow the prevailing party,other than the U nited States, a reasonable attorney's fee,including litigation expenses,and costs,and the United States shallbe liable for the foregoing the sam e as a private individual');pursuantto20U.S.C.j1415(i)(3)(B)(1)(forIDEA claims,thecourt,initsdiscretion, Gim ay award reasonable attorneys'feesaspartofthe coststo aprevailing party who istheparentof achildwithadisability');andpursuantto29U.S.C.j794a(b)(forRehabilitationActclaims,ttthe court,in its discretion,m ay allow the prevailing party,otherthan the U nited States,a reasonable attorney'sfeeaspartofthecosts''). The parties' settlem ent gives Plaintiffs prevailing party status because the settlem ent çlyieldedeitheranawardbythecourtofatleastsomereliefonthemeritsofhisclaim orthejudicial im prim atur of a change in the legal relationship between the Plaintiffand the D efendants.'' Madden'v.JustBelieveRecovery Ctn,LLC,No.2:18-CV-14446,2019W L 3282154,at*3(S.D. Fla.July 16,2019) (citing Smalbein v.City of Daytona Beach,353 F.3d 901,905 (11th Cir. 2003)).The settlement and the Court's approval of the settlement clearly meet the test forprevailing party status.M oreover, D efendants do not dispute that Plaintiffs are entitled to reasonable attorneys'fees and costs.Finally,in the Court'sFinalOrderA pproving Class-A ction SettlementAgreement,AppointmentofClassCotmseland Certification ofClass gDE 861,the 4 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 5 of 29 Courtexplicklyretainedjurisdictiontoconsidera11furtherapplicationsconcerningattorneys'fees and costs.Thus,the only issue before the undersigned isthe am ountofthe attorneys'fees and costsaw ard. 2. L aw R eaardin: C alculation ofA ttorneys'Fees A reasonable attorneys'fee award isçsproperly'calculated by m ultiplying the ntlmberof hoursreasonably expended on the litigation timesa reasonable hotlrly rate.''Am.CivilLiberties Unionv.Barnes,168F.3d423,427(11thCir.1999)(quotingBlum v.Stenson,465U.S.886,888 (1994:.Thisçûlodestar''maythenbeadjustedfortheresultsobtainedbytheattorney.SeeBarnes, 168F.3dat427(citingLorangerv.Stierheim,10Fk3d776,781(11thCir.1994:.Silndetermining w hatisa çreasonable'hourly rate and w hatnum berofcompensable hoursis treasonable,'the court isto considerthe 12 factorsenum erated in Johnson v.Georgia Highway Express,Inc.,488 F.2d 714 (5th Cir.1974).''Bivinsv.Wrap ItUp,Inc.,548F.3d 1348,1350 (11th Cir.2008).These factorsare: (1)thetimeandlaborrequired;(2)thenovelty anddiffculty ofthequestions;(3) the skillrequisite to perform the legalservice properly;(4)the preclusion of employmentbytheattorneydueto acceptanceofthecase;(5)thecustomaryfee; (6)whetherthefeeisfixedorcontingent;(7)timelimitationsimposedbytheclient orthe circumstances;(8)the amountinvolved and theresultsobtained;(9)the experience,reputqtion,andabilityoftheattorneys;(10)theGsundesirability''ofthe case;(11)thenatureandlengthoftheprofessionalrelationshipwiththeclient;and (12)awardsinsimilarcases. Id.at1350n.2 (citation omitted). The reasonable hourly rate is detined asthe (Gprevailing m arketrate in the relevant legal com m unity for sim ilar services by law yers of reasonably com parable skills, experience, and reputation.''Barnes,168F.3dat436(quotingNormanv..HousingAuth.ofMontgomery,836F.2d 1292 1299 (11th Cir.1999))1The fee applicantbearsthe burden ofestablishing the claimed Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 6 of 29 m arketrate.See Barnes,168 F.3d at427.The Courtm ay use its own experience in assessing the reasonablenessofattom eys'fees.Norman,836F.2d at1299. W ith regard to the type ofevidence thatthe fee claim qnt should produce in supportof a claim ,in Barnes,the Eleventh Circuithas stated that Etlheiçfeeapplicantbearstheburden ofestablishing entitlementand documenting the appropriate hoursand hourly rates.''Norman,836 F.2d at1303. Thatburden includes tlsupplying the cotu' tw ith specific and detailed evidence from which the courtcan determine the reasonable hourly rate.Further,fee counselshould have m aintained records to show the tim e spenton the differentclaim s,and the general subject matter of the time expenditmes ought to be set out with sufficient particularityso thatthe districtcourtcan assessthetim eclaimed foreach activity . l-prepared fee petition also w ould include a sllm m ary,grouping the tim e . . . A w el entriesbythenattzreoftheactivityorstageofthecase.''1d.(citationsomitted). 168 F.3d at427. In subm itting a requestforattom eys'fees,fee applicantsarerequired to exercise Gsbilling judgment.''Barnes,168F.3dqt428(quotingHensleyv.Eckerhart,461U.S.424,434 (1983)).lf fee applicantsdo notexclude (texcessive,redtm dant,or otherw ise unnecessary''hours,w hich are hours(Cthatw ould be unreasonable to billto a clientand therefore to one'sadversary irrespective of theskill,reputation orexperience of counseln''the courtmustexercisebillingjudgmentfor them.SeeBarnes,168F.3dat428(quotingNorman,836F.2dat1301(emphasisinoriginall).The burden rests on them ovantto subm itarequestforfeesthatw illenablethe courtto determ ine how m uch tim e w asreasonably expended.f oranger,10 F.3d at782. 3. Plaintiffs'Requestfor a Blended R ate isD enied Plaintiffsareseeking ablended hourly rateof$525perhourfortheworkperform edby all attorneysinthiscase.(DE 87,p.16j.AccordingtoPlaintiffs,thatblendedhourlyrateçttakesinto accountthe atlorneys'respective experience levels,yearsin practice,specialized know ledge asto the salientissues, and custom ary m arketratesin the Sou'thern D istrictofFlorida and Palm Beach Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 7 of 29 County in particular.''Id Plaintiffs have provided the D eclaration of Jack Scarola,Esq.,to supportthe attorneys' ratesrequested.gDE 87-4j.Mr.ScarolaopinesthatGtplaintiffs'counsel'sproposedblendedrates of $525 for counsel and $200 for paralegals is appropriate in this m atter.These am otmts are market,and notpremium ratesforPlaintiffs'counselforthework perfonned in thiscase.''1d.atp. 5.M r.ScarolaalsostatesthatStcomplexfederallitigation in thisdistricttypically rangesfrom $500 toover$900perhotlr,absentspecialcircumstancessuchasprobonorepresentation.....gclomplex federallitigation in thisdistricttypically rangesfrom $450perhourto over$800.''1d.According to Mr.Scarola,ççlaln hourly rateofeven $525isflo longerapremium ratein theUnited States DistrictCourtforthe Southern DistrictofFlorida,andisavery conselwativeblended raterelative to Plaintiffs'lawyers'experienceand credentials.''fJ. The Sheriff argues in response thatM r.Scarola's affdavitfails to offer usefulevidence. gDE 92,p.171.TheSheriffmaintainsthat::$525isastaggeringhourlyrate,higherthanistypically awarded in the South Floridam arketfornon-classaction civilrightslawsuits.Counselprovideno basisforsuchahighhourly rateforeach attorney.''Id atp.8.TheSheriffhasfiledtheDeclaration ofValentinRodriguez,Esq.(DE 92-52tosupportitsposition.Afterestablishinghisexpertise,M r. Rodriguez opines that,(dthe blended rate of $525 is not a fair calculation of how Plaintiffs' attorneysshouldbecompensated.''1d.at!23. A fter carefulreview ofthe papers and in light ofthe Court's bw n experience,the Court rejectsPlaintiffs'suggestionofapplyingablendedrateof$525perhourtoeachattorney.SeeFJW Tactical, LL C v.Producdve Prod.Enten,LLC,N o. 15-CIV -61741,2018 W L 3110799,at *10 (S.D.Fla.Apr.11,2018),reportand recommendation adopted sub nom.TYR Tactical,LLC v. Protective Prod.Enterprises,LLC,No.15-CV-61741,2018 W L 3109624 (S.D.Fla.Apr.30, Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 8 of 29 2018),amende4 No.15-CV-61741,2018 W L 2672391 (S.D.Fla.June 5,2018)(rejecting a blended rate of $525);see also Hermosilla,2011 W L 9364952,at *12 (explaining that a $500-$600hourlyrateisttextraordinary''in South Floridamarket).TheCourtdoesnotbelievea blended rate isfairorappropriate in this case.A blended rate isespecially inappropriate in a case like thisone w here the attorneyshave very differentlevels ofexperience and very differentlevels of expertise in civil rights and class action litigation.The Court fnds it m ore appropriate to i determ ine the reasonable hourly rate foreach attorney than to apply a blended rate.Even though this individual approach is m ore tim e-consum ing and labor-intensive for the Court, it is, nonetheless,necessary to fairly determ ine a reasonable hourly rate forPlaintiffs'counsel.Thus, the Courtwillconsidereach attorney in turn. 4. Plaintiffs'C ounsels'R easonable H ourlv R ates Plaintiffs are represented by three 1aw tqnns:Cohen M ilstein,the H um an Rights Defense Center,and the LegalA id Society of Palm Beach County in this case.Each ofthe three entities separately billed forPlaintiffs'legalwork,and each entity isseparately discussed below. a. C ohen M ilstein Attornevs TheodoreJ.Leopold,Esq.,ofCohen M ilstein filed aDeclaration (DE 87-3)to support Plaintiffs'M otion.Plaintiffsareseekingablendedrateof$525perhourforM r.Leopold,DianaL. M artin,Esq.,and Adam J.Langino,Esq.,whilethey areseeking arateof$200perhourforTatum W hiddon,aparalegalatthetlrm.(DE 87,p.16;DE 87-3,p.6q. The SheriffcontendsthatM r.Leopold'sspecialized know ledge and experience w ith class actions w as (çnot needed''in this case.1d. at p.14.The Sheriff also argues that M r.Leopold's supelwision of other attorneys w as not required in this case because attom eys Duncan and N eelakanta w ere already supervising the attorneys.1d.atp.14.ln sum ,the SheriffassertsthatM . r. 8 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 9 of 29 Leopold'sspecialized experiencewasnotrequired forany ofthetaskshe carried outin thiscase. Id.atp.15.The Sheriff also assertsthatM r.Langino w as doing m uch ofthe sam e w ork asother attorneys in the case.fJ.W ith regard to M s.M artin,he arguesthather specialized know ledge of class actionsand appellate issuesw as unnecessary in thiscase.f#.atp.16.The Sheriffm aintains thatCohen M ilstein has notprovided proofofthe hourly rate the attorneys billa paying clientor the hotlrly rate they have been awarded by any court.1d.According to the Sheriff, a more reasonablehourly rateforeach ofthe Cohen M ilstein atlorneysis$295.1d.The Sheriffhasfiled theDeclarationofValentinRodriguez,Esq.gDE 92-51,whoopinesthattheappropriatehotlrlyrate forM r.Leopold,M r.Langino,andM s.M artinis$295perhour,andtheappropriatehourlyratefor paralegalW hiddon is$100perhour.Id.at!24. In reply, Plaintiffs argue that M r.Rodriguez's fee declaration m akes broad conclusory opinionsand(tseekstodiminishesgsic)thevaluegsicjnon-profitorlegalâidlawyerscanseekin civilrights actions.''(DE 98,p.14).Plaintiffscontend thatMr.Leopold Stprovided strategict discretion and w ise counselbased upon hism any years litigating com plex classactionsthatshould be compensated at a rate consistent with his experience (which would reasonably exceed $800/hour).''f#.atp.17.PlaintiffsalsoarguethatattorneysM artin andLanginotthavesignificant class action experience and w orked to perfectPlaintiffs'action for class treatm entfrom the irlitial stages ofthe litigation tluough itsconclusion.''f#.atpp.17-18.Finally,with regard to paralegal W hiddon,Plaintiffsassertthatan hourly rateof$200perhourisconsistentwith otheropinionsin thisdistrictand thattheSheriffhasprovided no legalauthority forhissuggested rateof$100per hour.1d.atp.18. The Courtw illnow considereach ofthe three Cohen M ilstein attorneysand the paralegal irlttlrll. Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 10 of 29 M r.Leopold M r. Leopold is a partner at Cohen M ilstein and a m em ber of the firm 's Executive Committee.(DE 87-3,p.21.Hehasbeenpracticinglaw forover30yearsandhastried complex law suits throughout the country.1d.M r.Leopold has been consistently recognized by leading peer-review ed publications.fJ.H e lecturesfrequently on variouslegalissues,has authored several legal publications, and has earned Florida Bar Civil Trial Certification. Id. Upon careful consideration ofa1lofthe relevantfilingsand based on its ow n independentexperience,the Court finds that an hotlrly rate of $500 is reasonable for M r.Leopold in this case.SeeTillman v. Advanced Pub.Safety Inc.,No.15-CV-81782,2018 W L 5768570,at*4 (S.D.Fla.Nov.2, 2018),report.and recommendation adopte4 No.15-81782-C1V,2018 W L 6424899 (S.D.Fla. Nov.21,2018) (tinding a rate of $500 reasonable for an attorney with over 30 years of experience);Martin v.CreativeMgmt.Grp.,Inc.,No.10-23159-C1V,2014W L 11804564,at*2 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 23, 2014);Inspired Dev. Grp., LLC v. Inspired Prod. Grp., LLC, No. 16-80076-CIV,2018W L 2460295,at*5 (S.D.Fla.Apr.25,2018),reportandrecommendation adopte4 No.9:16-CV-80076,2018 W L 2446196 (S.D.Fla.M ay 31,2018)(finding $500 per hourreasonableforleadcounselandpartnerwhohaspracticed1aw forover30years). M r.Lancino M r.Langino is ofcounselatCohen M ilstein and is a m em berofthe firm 's Com plex Tort Litigationpracticegroup.(DE 87-3,p.2j.Hehastriedmorethan20jurytrialcasesandhasbeen consistently recognized by leading peer-revi ew ed publications.1d. at pp.2-3.M r.Langino is t M artindale-H ubbellA V rated.Id.atp.3.H e hasbeen practicing 1aw for approxim ately 13 years. 1d. at pp.3,52.Upon caref' ul consideration of a11 of the relevantfilings and based on its ow n independentexperience,theCourtfipdsthatan hourly rateof$375 isreasonableforM r.Langino 10 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 11 of 29 in this case. M s.M artin M s.M artin isofcounselatCohen M ilstein and is a mem berofthe firm's Catastrophic lnjury & W rongfulDeath,ConsumerProtection,M anaged CareAbuse,andUnsafe& Defective Productspracticegroups.(DE 87-3,p.3).Shefocusesherpracticeonappellatelitigationandtrial support.1d.M s.M artin has w ritten nlim erous legalarticles and has been recognized by leading peer-reviewedpublications.ld atpp.4,60-61.Shehaspracticed 1aw forapproximately 17 years. 1d at p.57.Upon careful consideration of a11 of the relevant filings and based on its own independentexperience,theCourtfindsthatanhourlyrateof$400isreasonableforM s.M artin in thiscase. M s.W hiddon Tatum W hiddon is a paralegal at Cohen M ilstein and a m em ber of the finu's Com plex TdalLitigation practicegroup.(DE 87-3,p.4j.Uponcaref'ulconsideration ofa11oftherelevant tilingsandbased on itsown independentexperience,theCourtfindsthatan hourlyrateof$150 is reasonableforparalegalW hiddoninthiscase.SeeFreestream AircrajtUSA Ltd.v.Chowdly,No. 16-CV-81232, W L 4785458, at *3 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 20, 2017) (finding ,a paralegal'shourlyrateof$150tobereasonable);BrownJordanlnternational,lnc.,r.Carmicle, No.14-60629-CV,2017W L 5633312,at*6(S.D.Fla.Aug.7,2017),reportandrecommendation adopted sub.nom.Brown Jordan Intl,Inc.v..Carmicle,No.0?14-CV-60629,2017 W L 5632811 (S.D.Fla.Aug.22,2017)(reducing paralegal'shourlyratefrom $190.00to $175.00);HPC US Fund J f.#. Wood,2016 W L 7636373, at *2 (S.D.Fla.Apr.22,201à) (reducing paralegal'shourlyratefrom $150to$125). 11 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 12 of 29 b. TheH um an R ightsD efense C enter A ttornevs Sabarish P.Neelakanta,Esq.,filed a Declaration (DE 87-11 in supportofPlaintiffs' M otion.A ccording to the D eclaration and to the M otion,Plaintiffs are seeking a blended rate of $525perhourforM r.Neelakanta,DanielM arshall,Esq.,andM asimbaM utam ba,Esq.,whilethey areseekingarateof$200perhourforKathyMoses,aparalegal.gDE 87,p.16;DE 87-1,p.6,101. The SheriffcontendsthatM r.N eelakanta,M r.M arshall,and M r.M assim ba have failed to provideanyproofofthehourlyratetheyhavebeenawardedinthepast.(DE 92,p.11).According totheSheriff,hehasdiscoveredthatM r.N eelakantawasawarded arateof$230in a2015Eastern DistrictofVirginiacase.1d.TheSheriffhasalso identifed caseswhereM r.N eelakantarequested low erratesforhim selfand the otherattorneysand paralegal,butthe courtsin those caseshave not yetm adeadecisionregardingfees.JJ.atpp.11-12.M ostrecently,intheApril2019caseofPrison LegalNews v.Inch,Case No.4:12-cv-239-M W /CAS (N.D.Fla.),M r.Neelakanta sought an hourly rate of $425,M r.M arshallsoughtan hourly rate of$375,and M r.M utamba sought an hourly rateof$295.f#.atp.12.TheSheriffrecom mendsthatM r.Neelkanta'sratebereduced to $400 per hotlr,M r.M arshall's and M r.M utamba's rates be reduced to $295 per hour, and paralegalM oses'ratebereduced to $100 p8rhour.1d.atpp.12-13. TheSheriffhasfiledtheDeclarationofValentinRodriguez,Esq.(DE 92-5)tosupportits position.M r.Rodriguez believesthatthe appropriatehourly rate forM r.Neelakanta is$400 per hour,the appropriate hourly rate for M r.M artin and M r.M utam ba is $295 per hour,and the appropriatehourlyrateforparalegalM osesis$100perholzr.Id at!24. / In reply, Plaintiffs argue that M r. Rodriguez's fee declaration should not be given considerationbytheCourt.(DE 98,p.14j.Plaintiffsnextarguethatthethreeothercasesinwhich the H um an R ights D efense Center requested particular hourly rates çthave no bearing on the 12 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 13 of 29 prevailing m arketrate thatshould be aw arded in the Southern D istrictofFlorida.Indeed these fee petitionswerepredicated onthemarketratesuniquetothosejtuisdictions.''1d.atp.16.Plaintiffs also pointoutthat,whileM r.Neelakantam ay havesought$425perhourin PrisonLegalNewsv. lnch,PlaintiffsSçprofferthatablended rateof$525/110urasan averageormiddlepointbetweenthe relative experience and contributionsofthe law yers engaged in the case atbar isthe betterm etric for determ ining the hpurly rate.'' 16l Finally, Plaintiffs contend that the hourly rates recommendation in Prison LegalNewsv.Inch forDan M arshall($475.00/hour)and M asimba M utama($295/hour)areonlyinstructivetotheextentthattheCoul'telectsto foregotheblended rate calculation.Otherthan M r.M utam ba.these ratesare stillhigherthan D efendants'proposal.'' The Courtnotesthat,outofa11ofthe casescited by the Sheriff,the only case thatis from thisCircuitand isparticularly helpfulin both tem poraland geographicalproxim ity isPrison L egal Newsv.Inch,whichisattachedtotheSheriff'sResponseasExhibitD (DE 92-42.Inthatcase,on April12,2019,in theNoryhernDistrictofFlorida,theplaintiffsoughtanhourlyrateof$425for M r.Neelakanta,$475 forMr.M arshall,$295 forM r.M utamba,and $160 forparalegals.(DE 92-4,p.15j.W hiletherehasbeennoOrderrulingontheappropriatehourlyratesatthispoint,itis beneficialforthe Courtto seethe ratesthe attorneysrequested on an individualbasisintthatcase. The Coul' tw illnow considereach ofthethreeH um an R ightsD efense Centerattorneysand the paralegalin t'urn. M r.N eelakanta M r.N eelakanta,the litigation directorand generalcounselforthe H um an RightsD efense Center,hasbeen practicing law for13 years.(DE 87-1,p.2).Hehasbeen lead cotmselin civil rightscases in 15 statesand alm ostexclusively focuseshispractice on crim inal,civil,and hum an 13 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 14 of 29 rightslaw .1d.M r.Neelakantaisalso an activemem berofseveraldifferentlegalcommitteesand associations,speaks at CLE's,conferences and w orkshops concerning prisoner and dvilrights litigqtion,and m akes frequentm edia appearances on these issues.Id Upon caref'ulconsideration ofa11ofthe relevantfilings,based on theCourt'som lindependentexperience, and based on M r. Neelakanta'srelevantexpertise,the Courtfindsthatan hourly rateof$400 isreasonableforM r. N eelakanta in thiscase. M r.M arshall M r. M arshall is a staff attorney for the H um an Rights D efense Center and has been practicing1aw for17years.gDE 87-1,p.4).Mr.M arshallisaboard certified criminaltrial1aw attorney and isaform erpublic defenderwho served as170th chiefofthefelony division and county courtresource director.1d.Upon carefulconsideration ofa11of the relevantfilings and based on the Court'sown independentexperience,theCourttindsthatan hotlrly rate of$400isreasonable forM r.M arshallin thiscase. M r.M utam ba Mr.MutambaisastaffattorneyfortheHumanRightsDefenseCenter.(DE 87-1,p.5q.He hasbeen practicing 1aw since 2012 and previously w orked attw o civil1aw ûrm s.f#.Upon careful consideration ofa1loftherelevantflingsand based on the Court'sown independentexperience, the Courtfindsthatanhourly rate of$295 isreasonableforM r.M utambainthiscase. M s.M oses Ms.M osesistheseniorlitigationparalegalwith theHuman RightsDefenseCenter.(DE 87-3,p.5).Sheholdsabachelor'sdegreeinjournalism andan associate'sdegreein paralegal studies.f#.Upon carefulconsideration ofal1ofthe relevantfilings and based on the Court's own independentexperience,theCourtfindsthatanhourly rateof$150isreasonableforM s.M osesin 14 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 15 of 29 thiscase. l c. L egalAid Societv Attornevs M elissa D uncan, Esq., of the Legal A id Society of Palm Beach County, Inc., filed a Declaration (DE 87-21in supportofPlaintiffs'M otion.AccordingtotheDeclaration andtothe M otion,Plaintiffs are seeking a blended rate of $525 per hour for M s.Duncan and Danielle Capitini,Esq.,whilethey areseekingarateof$200perhourforTamm Coutee,aparalegal.(DE 87,p.16, .DE 87-2,p.5). The SheriffcontendsthatM s.Duncan provided no proofofthehourly ratetheLegalAid attolmeyshavebeenawardedinthepast.gDE 92,p.13q.TheSheriffrepresentsthat,ina2015case againstthePalm Beach County SchoolBoard,M s.Duncan requested an hourly rateof$250,and paralegalCoutee requested an hourly rate of$95.1d.The Sheriffassertsthata m ore reasonable hourly rate forM s.Duncan in thiscaseis$350,and areasonablehourly rateforparalegalCoutee in thiscase is$100.ld The Sheriffargues thatM s.Capitini'stasksin thiscase were tasksthat could have been com pleted by a paralegaland thatM s.Capitinihasvery little legalexperience.Id. atpp.13-14.AccordingtotheSheriff,amorereasonablehourlyrateforM s.Capitiniis$175,and dçthis isa generoushourly rate considering this wasprobably herfirstassignm entas a licensed attorney,and she wasclearly learning.''f#.atp.14. TheSheriffhasfiledtheDeclarationofValentinRodriguez,Esq.(DE 92-5)tosupporthis. position.M r.Rodriguez opines that the appropriate hourly rate for M s.Duncan is $350,the appropriate hourly rate forM s.Capitiniis $175,and the appropriate hourly rate forparalegal Couteeis$100perhour.f#.at!24. In reply,Plaintiffs argue thata 2015 setllem entletterdoes notacm ally establish thatM s. Dtmcan'smarketrateas$250perùour.(DE 98,p.17q.AccordingtoPlaintiffs,Eo uncan'srelative 15 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 16 of 29 experienceandexpertisein education 1aw and the lead role sheassumed in thiscaseshould,atthe very least,suggest an hourly rate analogous to attorney N eelakanta.''Id.Plaintiffs also contend that$175perhourisanunreasonably 1ow marketrateforM s.Capitiniand thatsheisentitled toa rate ofatleast$225perhoureven asatsrst-yearlawyer.Id The Courtwillconsider each LegalA id Society attorney in turn. M s.Duncan M s.Duncan isthe supervising attorney oftheEducation Advocacy ProjectoftheLegal AidSocietyofPalm BeachCounty,lnc.(DE 87-2,p.11.Shehasbeenpracticing1aw for15years and hasw orked forthe LegalA id Society form ore than 14 years.f#.atp.2.H erpractice focuses onchildren'srightslaw,includingjuveniledelinquencyanddependency,aswellaseducationlaw. fJ.M s.D uncan is a regular speaker at legal events regarding children's law and education.Id. U pon caref'ul consideration of a11ofthe relevantfilings,based on the Court's own independent experience,and based on M s.D uncan's relevantexpertise,the Courtfindsthatan hourly rate of $400 isreasonableforM s.Dtmcan in thiscase. M s.Capitini 'M s.CapitiniisastaffatlorneyfortheLegalAidSociety.(DE 87-2,p.3).Shewasadmitted to the FloridaB arin 2018.16l Upon carefulconsideration ofa11oftherelevantfilingsand based On the Court'sown independentexperience,th: Courtfindsthatan hourly rate of$200isreasonable forM s.Capitiniin this case. M s.C outee Tatum Coutee is a paralegalatthe LegalAid Socie' ty.(DE 87-2,p.4!.She holds a bachelor's degree in English and hàs over 15 years of experience as a paralegal,w ith a focus in family,juvenileand educationcases.Id Uponcaref' ulconsideration ofal1oftherelevantfilings 16 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 17 of 29 and basedon theCourt'sown independentexperience,the Courtfndsthatan hourly rateof$150 isreasonable forparalegalCoutee in thiscase. 5. N um ber ofH ours R easonablv Expended The Sheriff has review ed every tim e entry from each of Plaintiffs' attorneys and paralegals,specificallystatedhisobjections,andexplainedhisobjections.(DE 92,Ex.G-Qq.He arguesthatmanyofthehourssoughtareexcessive,redundant,and/orulmecessary.(DE 92,p.21j. M ore specifically,the Sheriff arguesthatm ultiple attorneys should nothave billed for attending depositionsand meetingswithjuvenilesatthejailorforcompleting the sameprojectswithout describing theirspecitic contributions.Id atpp.22-27.H e also contends thatthe attorneysbilled excessivelyforemailexchangesandconferences.1d.atpp.27-28.AccordingtotheSheriftlmany ofthetim eentriescontainvagueentriesand block billing.f#,atpp.28-29.He alsom aintainsthat Plaintiffs calm otrecover for the tim e their attorneys billed com m unicating w ith potentialclients beforethefirstretainerW aSSigned 0n OraboutJanuary 29,2018.Id.atpp.29-31.N ext,the Sheriff asserts that Plaintiffs calm ot recover attorneys' fees for hours spent on clerical and secretarial tasks.Id atpp.31-32. ln their Reply, Plaintiffs first argue that an across-the-board reduction,rather than an hour-by-hourreview,isappropriateinacasesuchasthisone.(DE 98,p.5j.Theyhavecategorized the Sheriffsspecific objectionsand provided responsesto each in Exhibits 1-3.1d atpp.5-6. A ccording to Plaintiffs,pre-suit activities that are litigation-related are recoverable.1d. at p.6. N ext,they arguethatthe' y areentitledtoattorneys'feesforwork thatisreasqnable,necessary,and non-duplicative,and thefactthatm ultiple attorneysw orked on thiscase doesnotm atteraslong as they w ere notunreasonably doing the sam e w ork.f#.atp.7.Plaintiffs contend thatattendance by multipleattorneysatthedepositionsand meetingswithjuvenileswasnecessary andthatitwas 17 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 18 of 29 necessaryandreasonableformultipleatlorneystocontributetothesameprojects.1d atpp.7-10. They also argue thatthe intem alemailexchanges and conferencesrelated to litigation strategy, experts,and discovery,or to discussions w ith other attorneys engaged in sim ilar litigation,and, thus,the hotlrs billed for the em ails and conferences are reasonable and recoverable.1d at pp. 10-11.Plaintiffsrepeatedly em phasizethatthey have already cuttheirhours by 10% to accountfor any deûciencies.Id atp.11.Finally,Plaintiffsassertthattheirattorneys'tim eentriesareneither vaguenorexcessiveandthattheirattom eys'10% billingjudgmentsufticiently accountsforany clericalor adm inistrative tasks.1d.atpp.11-12. a.'R evisionsto A ttornevs'Fees Requested bv Plaintiffs In the exhibits to Plaintiffs'Reply,Plaintiffshave m odified the attorneys' fees they are . seeking.TheyhavebothreducedsomeofthehourssoughtbasedonPlaintiffs'objectionsandalso addedadditionaltimeforreviewingPlaintiffs'objections,draftingtheresponsestotheobjections, drafting the Reply,and com m unicating w ith co-cotm sel.Thus,the H um an Rights D efense Center isnow claiming594.15 attorney hoursand28.10paralegalhours(DE 98-1,.p.3),theLegalAid Society ofPalm B each County is now claim ing 430.40 attorney hours and 29.80 paralegalhotlrs (DE 98-2,p.3),andCohen M ilstein isnow claiming264.50 attorney hoursand 68.25paralegal hotlrs(DE 98-3,p.3). b. The C ourt'sFindincsasto the N um ber ofH oursR easonablv Expended In orderto determ ine the reasonable ntlm berofhours expended by Plaintiffs'counsel,the Courthascarefully reviewedtheparties'arguments,theSheriff'sobjectionsto thetime entries (DES92-7,92-8,92-9,92-10,92-11,92-12,92-13,92-14,92-15,92-16,and92-171,andPlaintiffs' responsestotheobjections(DES98-1,98-2,and98-3j.TheCout' twilladdresseachofthegeneral categoriesofobjectionsinturn. 18 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 19 of 29 First,itdoesappearthat,in theirannotated billing entriesattached to theirR eply,Plaintiffs haveresolvedtheobjectionsto clericaltasks,block billing,and vague billing entries.Plaintiffs havevoluntarily cuttheirtimeand/orhaveprovided f'urtherdetailfortheseentries. Second, the Sheriff is Sscorrect that tim e spent Clooking for and soliciting potential plaintiffs'isnotcom pensable.Barnes,168 F.3d at436.In contrast,tim e spentbefore the form al ( com m encem entoflitigation,on m atterssuch asattom ey-clientinterview sand investigation ofthe case,iscompensable.''Floresv.fojtsTown VillasCondo.Ass'n,Inc.,No(.17-20368-C1V,2017 W L 7792712, at *3 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 1, 2017),report and l-ecommendation adopte4 No. 1:17-CV-20368- , 2017 W L 7796111 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 26j 2017 (citing Webbv.Bd ofEduc.,471U.S.234,250(1985).TheCotu'tnotesthatthereappearstobeamixof com pensable and non-com pensable pre-litigation activities listed in the attorney billing entries.lt is im possible to the Courtto discern into w hich category som e of the billing entries fall.For example,onNovember11,2017,M r.Neelakantabilledforçsgelmailstoandfrom M D re:Potential juvenileplaintiffsrepresented by PBC publicdefender'softsce.''gDE 98-1,p.9q.Similarly,on December13,2017,hebilledforStgmqeetingwithpotentialplaintiffsatPBCjailre:juveniles.''1d. atp.12.Theothera' ttolmeysin thecasesimilarly billed formeeting wiih prospectiveplaintiffs. See,e.g.,DE 98-2,p.10. Third, while the Court will not reduce the hours billed solely on the basis thatm ultiple tim ekeepersw ere involved,the m ultiple tim ekeepers are problem atic to the extent they appeared to have perform ed duplicative or excessive w ork.See Tillm an v.Advanced Pub. SJ.#@,Inc.,N(j.15-CV-81782,2018W L 5768570,at*7 (S. D .Fla.Nov.2,2018),reportand recommendationadopte4 No.15-81782-CIV,2018W L 6424899(S.D.Fla.Nov.21,2018).This issue ofduplicative orexcessivehoursisthe m ostprolitscproblem in the billing records.See,e.g., 19 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 20 of 29 DE 98-1,p.18;DE 98-1,p.23;DE 98-2,p.19;D E 98-2,p.25;D E 98-3,p.8;DE 98-3,p.25. Having considered each ofthe deficienciesin the billing recordsand Plaintiffs'voluntary reduction of som e of the hours,the Courtstillfinds itnecessary to reduce the num ber ofhottrs billed.EsW hen a districtcourtfindsthenum berofhoursclaim ed isunreasonably high,the courthas two choices;itmay conductanholzr-by-houranalysisoritm ayreducetherequestedhourswith an across-the-board cut.''Bivins,548F.3dat1350(citingforanger,10F.3dat783).Gtlr flrialcourts need not, and indeed should not, becom e green-eyeshade accountants.The essential goal in shifting fees(to eitherparty)isto doroughjustice,notto achieveauditingperfection.So trial courtsm aytakeinto accounttheiroverallsensrofa suit,andm ayuseestimatesin calculating and allocatinganattorney'stime.''Foxv.Vice,563U.S.826,838(2011)(citingHensley,461U.S.at 437).Hem,theCourtrejectsPlaintiffs'suggestionthatthebillablehoursbecutby 10%.TheCourt alsomjectsDefendant'spositionthatPlaintiffs'billablehoursshouldbecutby 50%.Instead,the Courtfndsitappropriateto reduce Plaintiffs'counsels'hourswith an across-the-board cutand reduce the hoursby 20% . 6. Calculation ofA ttornevs'FcesAw ard In the below chart,the Courthasreduced each ti> ekeeper'shoursby 20% 1. The Coul'thas also reduced each hourly rate,asdiscussed above. Tim ekeeper H ourly R ate H oursR ecoverable R ecoverableFees SabarishNeelakanta $400 414.4(20% of518) $165,760.00 MasimbaM utamba . $295 11.4(20% of14. 25) $3,363. 00 ' 1Foreachtimekeeper,theCourtisreducingtheEçrevisedhoursbasedonDefendants'objections''listedbyPlaintiffs intheattachmentstotheirReplyEDES98-1,982,and98-31,TheCoul'tisalsoreducingby20% theadditionalhours àpentreviewingtheSheriff'sobjections,draAingthereplybriet drahingtheresponsestotheobjections,and comm unicatingwith co-counsel.ld 20 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 21 of 29 DanM arshall $400 9.52(20% of11.90) $3,808.00' KathyV oses $150 19.22(20% of24.10) $2,892.00 MelissaDuncan $400 316.76(20% of395.95) $126,704. 00 DanielleCapitini $200 18(20% of22.50) $3,600.00 Tatum Coutee $150 17.28(20% of21.60) $2,592.00 TheodoreLeopold $500 20,2(20% 0625. 25) $10,100.00 DianaMartin $400 126.8(20% of158.5) $50,720.00 Adam Langino $375 38.4(20% of48) $14,400.00 Tatum Whiddon $150 46.8(20% of58.50) $7,020.00 T O TAL $390,959,00 B. Costs ln theirM otion,Plaintiffsseek costsintheamountof$39,296.78fortravelexpenses,filing and service fees,legalresearch,depositions,printing,and expertwitnessfees.gDE 87,p.211. 5 Plaintiffs are seeking those costs under section 1988 and section 12205 of the A DA .f#.In their Reply,Plaintiffs concede thattheir taxable costs in the amountof $8,668.77 are procedurally time-barred.gDE 98sp.191.Theyarestillseekingnon-taxablecostsandlitigationexpbnsesinthe amountof$28,198.44.Id.atp.21. Section 1988provides:Sûgijn any action orproceedingtoenfbrceaprovision ofgsection 19811...thecourt,initsdiscretion,mayallow theprevailingparty,otherthantheUrlitedStates,a reasonableattonzey'sfeeaspartofthecosts.''42U.S.C.j 1988(b).M oreimportantly,42U.S.C.j 12205 çdpçrm its a prevailing party in an A DA action to recover its attorney's fees,costs, and litigation expenses.''Kennedy v.Bonom Enterprises,Inc.,N o.18-CV -62175,2019 W L 1429513, at*1-2(S.D.Fla.M ar.29,2019)9seealso42U.S.C.j12205.Specifically,j12205provides: 21 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 22 of 29 In any action oradm inistrativeproceeding com mencedpursuanttothischapter,the courtor agency,in its discretion,m ay allow the prevailing party,other than the U nited States,a reasonable attorney's fee,including litigation expenses,and costs, and the U nited States shall be liable for the foregoing the sam e as a private individual. ltappearsbased on the tilingsthatthe partiesultim ately prim arily rely on the AD A statute in their argum entsregarding costs. Here, Plaintiffs .entered into a settlem ent w ith D efendants. Thus, Plaintiffs are the prevailing party.SeeAm.Disability Ass' n,Inc.v.Chmielarz,289 F.3d 1315,1321 (11th Cir. 2002).The Sheriff does notseem to dispute Plaintiffs entitlementto non-taxable costs and litigation expensespursuantto section 12205,butratherhe disputesthe am ountofthose costs and expenses.(DE 92,p.35j.Hedoesnotobjectto$133.31ofthecosts,however.1d. 1. Costs for Video-R ecording.D eposition Exhibits.and D uplication C osts Plaintiffs are seeking $2,097.55 in deposition video-recording fees and $348.40 in deposition exhibitsand duplication costs.(DE 98,p.1% .The Sheriffobjectsto thesecostsas untimely because he believesthey fallwithin taxable costsunder 19 U.S.C.j 1920,and,as explainedabove,thepartiesagreethatanytaxablecostsareprocedurallytime-barred.gDE 92,pp. 33-351.Plaintiffsarguethatthesecostsarenon-taxablebecausetheyare(çextras''thataregenerally nottaxable.(DE 98,p.191. ûsl-flhe extra servicesprovided by thestenographerare recoverable asnon-taxablecosts underthe SCA .''Brow nJordan Int' l,Inc.v.Carm icle,N o.14-60629-CV ,2017 , W L 5633312,at*8 (S.D.Fla.Aug.7,2017),reportand recommendation adopte4 N0.0:14-CV-60629,2017 WL 5632811(S.D.Fla.Aug.22,2017)(citingChov.Koam Med.Servs.P.C.,524F.Supp.2c1202,212 (E.D. N .Y.2007) (where plaintiff prevailed on federal statute that provided for recovery ofnon-taxable costs,courtaw arded com bined taxable and non-taxable costs for.cotuier services, 72 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 23 of 29 reproduction,telephone, facsimile,postage,deposition services,deposition/hearing transoripts, anddatabaselegalservices);seealsoBvsAcquisitionCo.,LLC v.Brown,2015W L 12921971,at *9 (S.D.Fla.Aug.5,2015)(courtawarded asnon-taxablecojts those expensesthatwere not recoverable astaxable coststmderj 1920).In lightoftherelevantcase law,the Courtfindsit appropriateto award Plaintiffsthe$348.40 incun'edby theircounselfol'deposition exhibitsand outside duplioating asnon-taxable expenses. W ithregardtothe$2,097.55 indepositionvideo-recordingfees,therelevant1aw isGtgiln orderforavideo depositiontobetaxableg,)theprevailingpartymustshow why itwasnecessary to have both avideodeposition and a transcribed deposition foruse in the case.''Ow Buland v. NCL (Bahamas) Ltd.,No. 17-24167-C1V,2019 W L 2254829,at *2 (S.D.Fla.Apr. 29, 2019),reportand recommendation adopte4 No.17-CV-24167-PCH,2019 W L 2254703 (S.D. Fla.M ay 20,2019);seealso Georgev.Fla.Dep'tofcorrections,No.07-80019-CIV,2008W L 2571348,at*7(S.D.Fla.M ay23,2008)(citationomitted).Inthispadicularcase,wherePlaintiffs initially claim ed both transcription fees and video deposition courtreporterfees as costs in their ' M otion,Plaintiffs articulated no basis forclaim ing both setsoffees.Plaintiffs laterconceded that they are no longerentitled to recover forthe transcript costs because theirrequestw asuntim ely. gDE 98,pp.18-19j.Inlightoftheforegoing,theCourtdoesfindthatthevideocourtreporterfees are non-taxàble costs that Plaintiffs can recover.Therefore,the Courtw ill aw ard Plaintiffs the $2,097.55 in deposition video-recording costs.N otranscription feesshallbeawarded. 2. C osts for R esearch The Sheriffcontends thatthe $453.70 in research costs soughtby Cohen M ilstein are non-com pensable and thatthere is no evidence thatthe legalresearch w as conducted in reference to the ADA claim.(DE 92,p.362.Plaintiffs arguethatcomputerized legalresearch costs are 23 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 24 of 29 bleandthattheyhyveprovidedspecificinvoices,asrequired.gDE 98,p.20j.çt-f' heCourt recovera has discretion to determ ine w hether the cost of online legalresearch should be recoverable.''Rubensteinv.Fla.Bar,No.14-CV-20786,2015W L 1470633,at*7(S.D.Fla.M ar. 31,2015),reportand recommendation adopte4 No.14-C1V-20786,2015 W L 11216722 (S.D. Fla.Apr.22,2015);Gof clubsWwly v.Hostaway Corp.,2012W L 2912709,*6 (S.D.Fla.July 16,2012).TheCourtfindsthat,inthiscase,Plaintiffshavenotprovidedsufficientexplanationfor the necessity orreasonableness ofthe research and have failed to establish any lirlk betw een the legalresearch and the A D A claim .Therefore,the Courtwilldeny the cost. 3. Feesfor TravelA gent TheSheriffobjectstothe$50infeesforuseofatravelagenttsastotallyunnecessary and utterlyunreasonabletopassontotheDefendant.''(DE 92,p.361.IntheirReply,Plaintiffsagreeto excludethiscost.gDE 98,p.21q.Therefore,theCourtwillnotawardthe$50cost. 4. TravelTim e for A ttornev M artin TheSheriffobjectstoDianaM atin'srequestforreimbursementfor$14.28in costsshe incurred fortravelto and from a statusconference on N ovem ber30th. gDE 92,p.36j.Accordingto the Sheriff,no status conference took place on that date.Id It is clear to the Courtthat M s. M artin'stravelexpensesw ere incurred traveling to theN ovem ber28,2018 statusconference.The t Courtfindsthat$14.28 in costsshould beawarded toPlaintiff. 5. C ostofM eals Served atSettlem entConference The SheriffarguesthatCohen M ilstein cannotobtain reim bursem entfor$244.32 in costs forproviding lunch atthe settlem entconferencebecause m ealsare notcom pensable and the costis (Gcompletelyttnreasonable.''(DE 92,p.371.AccordingtoPlaintiffs,theydidnotrequestthatlunch beprovided.f#.IntheirReply,Plaintiffsagreetoexcludethiscost.gDE 98,p.211.Therefore,the 24 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 25 of 29 Coul'twillnotaward the $244.32 cost. 6. ExpertW itness Fees Plaintiffsareseekingreim bursementfora$6,842.40 expertfeeforM r.LeanderParkerand a$20,288.59expel' tfeeforDr.LouisKraus.(DE 92,p.37).AccordingtotheSheriff,thefeeshave notbeen shown to berelated to the ADA cause ofaction and are tmreasonable.1d.The Sheriff subm its that,to the extent the Courtdecides againsttotally excluding the fees,the ççexpertfees should be divided by 7,as the cause ofaction under Title 11 ofthe A D A represents one ofthe 7 causesofacyion broughtby thePlaintiffs.''1d.atp.28. PlaintiffsarguethattheexpertwitnessfeesarefullyrecoverableundertheAmericanswith DisabilitiesActand thatthey haveprovided invoicesforboth oftheirexperts.gDE 98,p.20q. A ccording to Plaintiffs,$çD r.K raus provided invaluable testim ony and expertise on the im pactof solitary confinem entpolicies and denialofspecialeducation servicesto disabled children,''w hile W arden Leander Parker tsprovided insightinto operational and policy considerations w ithin the Jailconcerning accom modationsthatcan orshould have been inplaced fordealingwith children w ith disabilities.''Id. ln sum , Plaintiffs assertthat both experts provided testim ony lldirectly applicableto the disabled children housed attheJailand how Defendants'policiesand practices ran afoul of the ADA.''f#. atp.21.Furtherm ore,according to Plaintiffs,there is Gtno legal authority supporting DefendantsEsicqclaim thattheexpertfeesshould beparsed ordividedby seven representing each causeofaction.To the contrary,such parsing have (sic)been strictly precluded.''Id $&A prevailing A D A plaintiffm ay recover expertfees as a litigation expense.''H ansen v. Deercreek Plaza, LLC,420 F. Supp.2d 1346, 1353 (S.D. Fla. 2006) (citing fovell Chandler,303F.3d 1039,1058(9th Cir.2002));seealsoSierrav.JRF,Inc.,No.16-62111-C1V, 25 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 26 of 29 2017W L 1929961,at*2(S.D.Fla.Jan.9,2017).CtA coul'tmayreduceanexpert'sfee,however, wherethe feeisexcessive.''A ccess 4 All,Inc.v.A tl.H otelCondo.Ass' n,Inc., N o.04-61740-CIV , 2006W L 8431482,at*7 (S.D.Fla.Apr.27,2006)(citingAccessfortheDisable4 Inc.,v.CSM Props.P'shè.,2005 W L 1528662,*2 (M .D.Fla.June25,2005)).Here,the Courtfindsthat Plaintiffs have established thatthe two expertw itnesses w ere relevantto Plaintiffs'AD A d aim . The Cotu'talso agreesw ith Plaintiffsthatthe Sheriffhascited no authority to supporthisassertion thatthe expertw itness feesshould be divided by seven. TheCourthasalsoreviewedthecostsincurredbyPlaintiffsforLeanderParker.(DE 87-3, p.126).M r.Parkerbilled atarateof$137.50andbilledatotalof29.8hoursfortasksincluding reviewing documents,taking ajailtour,participating in interviews,attending deposition,and participatinj in conference calls.1d.He also charged forhistravel.1d.atpp.126,154-165.The Courtfindsthatthe $6,842.40 in expertfeesincurred by PlaintiffsforM r.LeanderParkerto be reasonable. Dr.Louis Kraus charged $15,000 ($5,000 perday forthree days)forthree fu11days assistingwiththeconsentdecreeandconducting interviewsinFlorida.(DE 87-3,pp.136,1391. W hen hebilled on an hourly basis,Dr.Krausbilled atarateof$400.1d.atp.139.Hebilled 8.75 hours fordocum entreview,phone consultations,and documentpreparation.1d.Dr.Kraus also chargedforhistraveltoFlorida.(DE 87-3,pp.136,1392.TheCourtfindsthatthe$20,288.59in expertfeesincurred by PlaintiffsforD r.K rausto bereasonable. TotalAw ard ofC osts TheCourtwillaward Plaintiffsthefollowing costs:$133.31in tm-objectedto expenses, $348.40 fordeposition exhibitsand outside duplicating,$2,097.55 in deposition video-recording fees,$14.28 in costsforattorney M artin'stravel,$6,842.40 in expertfeesforLeanderParker,and 26 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 27 of 29 the $20,288.59in expertfeesforDr.Kraus.Thetotalcostsaw ard is$29,724.53. C. Post-iudem entInterest Plaintiffsare statutorily entitledtopost-judgmentinterestpursuantto 28 U.S.C.j 1961, Glwhichprovidesforintereston anymoneyjudgmentrecovered in districtcotu'tin acivilcase.'' G reatLakes lns.SE v.Aarvik,N o.18-CVL60705,2019 W L 2245332,at*5 (S. D.Fla.Mar. . 2019),reportand recommendation adopte4 No.18-CV-60705,2019 WL 2245146 (S.D.Fla. M ar.29,2019).TheSupremeCourtandtheEleventh Circuithaveexplained,'Clwlhen adistrict courttaxescostsagainsta losing jarty,the award ofcostsbears interestfrom the date ofthe originaljudgment.''BanW tlanticv.BlytheEastmanPaineWebber,Inc.,12F.3d1045,1052 (11th Cir.1994)(citing GeorgiaAss' n ofRetarded Citizensv.McDaniel,855F.2d 794,799 (11th Cir. 1988)).Pursuanttosection 1961(a),courtsdeterminethepost-judgmentinterestbylookingtothe Stw eekly average l-yearconstantm aturity Treasury yield,aspublished by the Board ofG overnors oftheFederalReserveSystem,forthecalendarweek precedingl)thedateofthejudgment.''28 U.S.C.j1961(a);seealsoBanW tlantic,12F.3dat1052;US.S.E.C.v.Carrillo,325F.3d 1268, 1271 (11th Cir.2003).Plaintiffs shall,therefore,be awardedpost-judgmentinterestwhen the Courtentersajuctgmentonattorneys'feesandcosts. D . Further Briefina on A pportionm ent TheSchoolBoard hasrequested thatitbepermittedto addressthe issue ofapportionm ent between the Sheriff and the SchoolBoard after the Courtnlled on the reasonableness of the attolmeys'feesandcosts.(DE 93,pp.1-2).TheCourtwillprovidePlaintiffs,theSheriff,andthe SchoolBoard theopportunity to conferon theapportionmentissueand then fileajointnotice statingeachparty'sposition.ThejointnoticeshallbefiledOnorbefpreOctober24,2019. 27 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 28 of 29 IV . C O N CLU SIO N This is a case where a11parties w ere represented by excellent,ethical,and professional counsel.The Courtappreciates the efforts and hard w ork of all counsel in this im portant case. Plaintiffs'M otion sought$606,526.00in attorneys'fees,alongwith $39,296.78incosts,foratotal amountsoughtof$645,822.78.(DE 87,p.7).The SheriffsResponse,which wasjoined and adopted by theSchoolBoard,assertsthatPlaintiffsshould be awarded $260,690.50 in attorneys' feesand$131.33 incosts,foratotalamotmtof$260,821.83.(DE 92,p.39j.Then,inPlaintiffs' Reply,Plaintiffsincreased the award. soughtto $631,736.25 in attorneys'feesand $30,644.39 in costs,foratotalof$662,380.64.TheCoul'tdisagreeswith both parties'positions.Plaintiffsseek too m uch,and the Sheriffsuggeststoo little. A fter very carefully considering the parties'papers,the applicable law ,the Court's ow n experience, and the entire docket in this case, the Court finds that Plaintiffs are entitled to attorneys'feesin the amountof$390,959.00 and costs in the am ountof$29,724.53,fora total awardof$420,683.53.ln reaching itsaward ofattom eys'feesand costsin thiscase,theCourthas endeavored to be fair to a1l parties and their cotm sel in determ ining a reasonable aw ard of attorneys'fees and costs. In lightofthe foregoing,the CourtO RD ERS as follow s: 1. Plaintiffs'VerifiedM otion forAttorneys'Feesand Costs(DE 87)isGRANTED IN PA RT A N D D ENIED IN PA RT . Plaintiffs,H .C.,a m inor,but and through his parent and naturalguardian,Jelm y C .; M .F.,a m inor,by and through his parentand naturalguardian,A sisa Rolle;and T.M ., by and through his parent and nattlralguardian,Jessica Joiner shallbe aw arded their attorneys'feesin theamountof$390,959.00 andcostsintheam ountof$29,724.53,for 28 Case 9:18-cv-80810-WM Document 100 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/10/2019 Page 29 of 29 atotalaward of$420,683.53,againstDefendantRick Bradshaw,Palm Beach County Sheriffand D efendantSchoolBoard ofPalm Beach County. 3. The parties shallfile a JointN otice on or before October 24,2019,stating their positions on apportionm ent of the attorneys' fees and costs between the two D efendants. 4. Thereafter,theCourtwillenterajudgmentastoattorneys'feesandcosts. DO NE and O RD ER ED in Cham bersatW estPalm Beach,Palm Beach Cotm ty,Florida, this10 ayofOctober,2019. W ILLIA M M A T EW M AN U nited StatesM agistrate Judge 29