was absurd, given its having been publicly published. Therefore, the Court must state that the classification was unreasonable. However, as irrational as the classification may have been, it was not a "withholding" that entitles the plaintiff to attorneys' fees. Nothing was withheld since the Memorandum was previously printed "verbatim."
THE APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES IS EXCESSIVE AND DUPLICATIVE
To begin with, in setting attorneys' fees, one must start with the reasonable hours expended on the litigation and the reasonable hourly rate. Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 103 S. Ct. 1933, 76 L. Ed. 2d 40 (1983). The plaintiff, in determining a reasonable hourly rate, has given considerable information involving billing rates in general and billing rates in other types of litigation by other attorneys. It is clear that the use of fee scales in non-FOIA action is erroneous. Further, the Court will not accept evidence of community standards -- if an in-house rate is applicable, it is the one to be used. Laffey v. Northwest Airlines, 746 F.2d 4 (D.C. Cir. 1984).
As to the fees charges, this Court finds many to be excessive, duplicative, and unnecessary. This Court includes this final analysis in an effort to remedy the gross variations that occur in attorneys' fees cases.
The Court must point out that when one attorney can be effective in a hearing, the use of two is obviously duplicative. There is no statement, nor does this Court infer, that either Mr. Greenberg or Mr. Borenstein, both of the plaintiff's counsel, are incompetent to single-handedly represent their client during a hearing. However, both attorneys attended a July 22, 1982 hearing. Because only one of these attorneys' fees could be includable, the fee for the second attorney is duplicative. See, Copeland v. Marshall, 205 U.S. App. D.C. 390, 641 F.2d 880 (D.C. Cir. 1980).
The defendant points out, and the Court agrees, that 68.1 hours to prepare a summary judgment motion on a matter such as this is clearly excessive. See, Ramos v. Lamm, 713 F.2d 546, 554 (10th Cir. 1983). Continuing, the move of counsel's law firm from Washington to Los Angeles, may have created the need for messenger and long-distance telephone calls, but these are not to be billed to the government.
Finally, as to claims for upward adjustment of the already inflated lodestar, the Court finds the remarks of plaintiff contradictory. The plaintiff claims the need for a multiplier because of the delay in the original suit. In direct contradiction to the above, the plaintiff states on page 27 of their application that the lawsuit continued "with remarkable speed." This Court is willing to grant reasonable multipliers in cases where they are warranted. However, the Court will not tolerate the "kitchen sink" approach to multipliers.
The Court cannot over-emphasize the need to organize fee structures which are a true reflection of the time and resources spent in litigating the action. This Court has too often seen duplicative, unnecessary, and excessive fees in FOIA actions, and it is this Court's duty to remind the attorneys that the monies needed to pay these applications are derived from tax revenues.
The Court today has decided, after assessing the application for attorneys' fees, the defendant's response thereto, and the entire record, that the plaintiff, Nuclear Control Institute, has not substantially prevailed and, therefore, is neither eligible for, nor entitled to, attorneys' fees. Accordingly, the Court has, by Order of even date herewith, denied plaintiff's application for attorneys' fees and costs.
Before the Court is an application for attorneys' fees. For the reasons set forth in the Court's Opinion of even date herewith, it is, by the Court, this 15th day of October, 1984,
ORDERED that the Plaintiff's Application for the Award of Attorneys' Fees and Expenses be, and the same hereby is, denied; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that the case shall stand dismissed from the dockets of this Court.
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