attorney fees

Mary Hektner v. School District of Brevard County/Sedgwick, CMS, OJCC Case No. 13-014654RLD, August 29, 2017

Miami claimant’s attorney sought an attorney fee of $107,905 based on 308.3 hours at $350.00 an hour. The Judge reduced 228.3 hours and only awarded claimant’s attorney 80 hours at $225.00 an hour.

NFN’s TAKE:

  • Ask your defense attorney who will testify as the attorney fee expert. You need an expert to testify about entitlement to fees.
  • Hourly rate should be customarily hourly rate charged in the locality. Out of town attorney from different county in different district not entitled to hourly fee charged where he/she practices.
  • An award of fees by a Judge is different than a fee based on a Joint Stipulation of the parties or an approved fee on a settlement. “Approved” fees are different than “awarded” fees.
  • Agree with opposing counsel as to who the experts are going to be specially because must Judges will not have a Pre-Trial on attorney fee hearings.
  • If you agree in writing with opposing counsel that no experts will be needed because both the claimant’s attorney and the defense attorney will testify the court will consider this a stipulation

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