an appropriate rate. Unpersuaded that Lloyd has exercised professional billing judgment regarding this matter, the Court denies the request for these hours.
Lloyd also has billed hours expended by him for personal filing of documents. Although Lloyd has represented that it was in fact more economical for him to file the papers at $ 110.00 an hour than it would have been to hire a messenger, he has provided the Court with no documentation or elaboration to support this astounding proposition. The Court therefore also denies the request for these hours. Therefore, plaintiffs are entitled to attorney's fees in the amount of 90 hours for Sheila Albright and 206.4 hours for David Lloyd.
B. Reasonable Hourly Rate
The reasonable hourly rate is "that prevailing in the community for similar work."
In determining the reasonable hourly rate, relevant factors include the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the issues, the amount involved and results obtained, and the experience, reputation and ability of the attorneys.
In Concerned Veterans, the District of Columbia Circuit stated that "the best evidence [of the prevailing hourly rate] would be the hourly rate customarily charged by the affiant himself or by his law firm."
Plaintiffs have requested $ 100.00 an hour for Ms. Albright and $ 110.00 an hour for Mr. Lloyd. According to the fee arrangements entered into by plaintiffs and counsel Lloyd, the latter has already received exactly one-half of his total fees directly from plaintiffs. Lloyd explains that he altered his usual rate to permit the private individuals involved to afford legal services, but that it was at all times understood that his charge for services was $ 110.00 an hour.
Defendants counter that "Mr. Lloyd's fee here should be $ 55.00 an hour."
Relying on Concerned Veterans, defendants stress that the rate customarily charged by the lawyer is the best evidence of the prevailing hourly rate. Lloyd charged Cook and Lewis $ 55.00 an hour, so the argument goes, therefore, he is entitled only to $ 55.00 an hour in fees.
In reconciling these two arguments, the Court begins with the premise that the hourly rate customarily charged by the party seeking compensation, if within the range of rates charged by other lawyers for similar work in the same community, presumptively constitutes the market rate for purposes of calculating the lodestar.
The Court concludes that the rate charged by Albright was $ 100.00 an hour. The parties do not dispute this amount. The Court also concludes that the rate charged by Lloyd was $ 110.00 an hour -- his usual billing rate for civil rights cases. Although plaintiffs paid only $ 55.00 an hour, this fee arrangement was entered into as an accommodation to plaintiffs to permit them to pursue their meritorious claims. Although the parties' fee arrangement is not binding on the Court,
the Court is satisfied that Lloyd actually charged $ 110.00 an hour. As the rates are well within the range of acceptable rates charged by other lawyers for similar work in Washington, D.C., $ 100.00 an hour for Albright and $ 110.00 an hour for Lloyd are the reasonable hourly rates for purposes of calculating the lodestar.
Therefore, plaintiffs are entitled to attorney's fees in the following amounts:
1. Sheila Albright
90.0 hours at $ 100.00 an hour = $ 9,000.00
Total $ 9,000.00
2. David Lloyd
206.4 hours at $ 110.00 an hour = $ 22,704.00
Total $ 22,704.00
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