reasonable fee of rate times hours is appropriate." Id. 104 S. Ct. at 1550. Thus there is a "heavy burden" on the prevailing attorneys to justify any upward adjustments. Id. This burden can only be met if the prevailing attorney makes a specific claim based on a particular factor and supported by specific evidence. Murray v. Weinberger, supra at 1429. Accord, National Assoc. of Concerned Veterans, supra at 1323. Concurrent with this burden is the duty of the district court to justify with particularity why an adjustment is needed to fully compensate the attorneys. Blum v. Stenson, supra 104 S. Ct. at 1548-50.
a) A 50% upward adjustment for the substantial risk involved in bringing this suit is appropriate and necessary to fully compensate the prevailing attorneys.
The plaintiffs' attorneys are seeking a 50% multiplier for the risk they took that they might never be compensated for their labor. They submit, and the Court agrees, that this is truly an "exceptional case," frought with exceptional risks. As the Court of Appeals held in Laffey, "to the extent unusual circumstances exist, those exceptional circumstances are best taken into account in adjustments to the loadstar." Id. at 41. Although the Court in Laffey denied the upward adjustments, this case presents many exceptional factors not found in the record before the Court in that case.
First, in Laffey, the fact that the district court found that the initial chance of success was 50% was not "exceptional" enough to warrant any upward adjustment. Laffey, supra at 51. In this case, a cursory review of the statistics prepared by the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia in its annual report for 1978, the year this case initially went to trial, reveal that for all Title VII cases brought in the District of Columbia, the plaintiffs prevailed in only 12 out of the 63 cases which went to trial. Thus, a bare statistical analysis would give the plaintiffs only a 19% chance of success even if it were the "typical" Title VII case. As previously noted, this was hardly the "typical" case. Thus the chances of success, statistically speaking, were much lower than even the 19% noted above.
Secondly, Laffey was decided by the district court three years after being brought. The judgment was affirmed in 1976. The remaining eight years were spent litigating the remedy issues. In the present case, it was a full six years after the action was brought until the district court's decision, largely because of the unfortunate death of Judge Waddy. The Court of Appeals affirmed in 1982, after the case had been pending for nine years. Further, in the first five years of this litigation, the plaintiffs had lost both before the GPO and, at least on one of their major claims, before Judge Waddy. Thus, two different forums had found some of the claims to be meritless in the first five of the nearly twelve years this case has taken. This case was at risk substantially longer than was the case in Laffey.
Finally, the Court finds that the best reflection of the amount of risk facing plaintiffs at the outset of this litigation is the state of the law as it existed in 1973, when this litigation began. At that time major legal questions were undecided regarding both Title VII and the Equal Pay Act. Examples of some of these decisive but unanswered issues at that time include: 1) whether a federal employee could maintain a class action; 2) whether the class could obtain a trial de novo in the district court; 3) whether the Equal Pay Act would be applicable to the federal government; 4) whether there could be a violation of the Equal Pay Act when males and females operated different machines; 5) whether Title VII and the Equal Pay Act applied retroactively; and 6) whether this circuit, or the Supreme Court, would hold that goals or quotas were appropriate remedies in discrimination cases. Thus, the law in this area was far from clear when the plaintiffs began, and they faced an enormous risk that one or several of these questions would be decided against them.
It is clear to this Court that the plaintiffs have met their burden of showing specific factors and specific evidence to support their request for an upward adjustment for the risk involved. Therefore, the Court will award, for the reasons above stated, a 50% upward adjustment based on the substantial risk which these attorneys overcame. Such a 50% increase for risk in a Title VII and Equal Pay Act action such as this finds support in the case law of this and other circuits. Vaughn v. GPO, No. 77-0787 (D.D.C. July 19, 1982) (75% increase for risk); Rajender v. University of Minnesota, 546 F. Supp. 158, 173 (D. Minn. 1982) (100% increase for risk); Dickerson v. Pritchard, 551 F. Supp. 306, 313 (D.C. Ark. 1982), aff'd, 706 F.2d 256 (8th Cir. 1983) (50% increase); Keith v. Volpe, 86 F.R.D. 565, 577 (C.D. Cal. 1980) (250% increase for contingency and quality); Wells v. Hutchinson, 499 F. Supp. 174 (E.D. Tex. 1980) (100% increase).
b) The prevailing attorneys have met their burden regarding the award of an upward adjustment for exceptional results obtained, therefore the Court will increase the total award by 25%
Plaintiffs' second requested adjustment is for exceptional results obtained. The Court fully agrees with plaintiffs' counsel that this case resulted in an exceptional success with far-reaching consequences not only for the GPO employees, but for the entire printing industry and for women in the workplace throughout the nation. However, the Court finds that a 50% upward adjustment would result in a windfall contrary to the intent of Congress. Therefore, the Court will instead grant the plaintiffs a 25% adjustment based on their exceptional success.
Initially, the Court notes that this case set precedents in many of the areas which were listed above as being unclear when the litigation began. This case was the first in this circuit to use quotas to remedy discrimination; it was one of the very few cases in the nation to successfully challenge an established apprenticeship program; it was the first case to hold that Equal Pay Act violations can occur when males and females operate different machines; and it also resolved several important questions regarding the retroactive and prospective effect of Title VII and the Equal Pay Act.
Secondly, the plaintiffs were rewarded for their long struggle with an exceptional victory. The 382 class plaintiffs have received approximately $11.4 million in financial benefits to date and can expect to receive at least another $10 million over the next 7 years. Bailey affidavit at 1-9. Back pay for Title VII access violations alone have totaled over $5 million. Bailey affidavit at 2. Front pay for these access violations exceeded $500,000 in 1983. Id. In addition to these direct monetary benefits, this case resulted in many other improvements in the plaintiffs' workplace, including elimination of the four-year apprenticeship requirement for bookbinders and the opening of the door for women and other minorities to achieve supervisory status.
Even beyond this, the impact of this suit has affected the entire printing industry. Sex-segregated unions have merged together. The shock waves of this case have spurred inquiries and investigations into the work environment of all public and private printers. This was certainly an exceptional case, with far-reaching impact on an entire business or profession.
For all the foregoing reasons, the Court finds that the plaintiffs have met their burden of showing with specific facts and evidence that they are entitled to an upward adjustment in the loadstar figure based on the exceptional results in this case. The Court therefore will increase the award an additional 25% to reflect this.
Based on the foregoing discussion, the Court hereby awards plaintiffs the total amount of $1,604,029.55. This figure reflects the reasonable hours spent multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate for Mrs. Bailey and Mr. Dorsen, as charged by each attorney at the time the work was done. The figure also includes work done by various associates, para-legals and law clerks working under Mrs. Bailey and Mr. Dorsen. In addition, the amount includes Mr. Boggs' hours multiplied by the reasonable rate of $150 an hour. Finally, the amount includes all costs expended in this litigation, to which there were no objection. The breakdown is as follows:
Year Rate Hours Year Total
1973 $ 40 99.25 $ 3,970.00
1974 50 133.00 6,650.00
1975 60 421.75 25,305.00
1976 70 178.00 12,460.00
1977 90 396.50 35,685.00
1978 100 698.50 69,850.00
1979 120 724.00 86,880.00
1980 145 469.75 68,113.75
1981 145 646.00 93,670.00
1982 175 300.00 52,500.00
1983 185 405.75 75,063.75
1984 195 184.25 35,928.75
TOTAL 4,656.75 $566.076.25
Period Rate Hours Year Total
1/31/79 $ 90 34.75 $ 3,127.50
1/31/80 100 631.25 63,125.00
1/31/81 110 529.00 58,190.00
1/31/82 120 544.75 65,370.00
1/31/83 135 90.75 12,251.25
1/31/84 150 11.75 1,762.50
present 160 0.50 80.00
TOTAL 1,842.75 $ 203,906.25
RODERIC V. O. BOGGS
660.75 hours x $ 150 an hour = $ 99,112.50
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