had a number of months to investigate her claim and had still treated this case as having nothing more than nuisance value. Moreover, there seems little question that by bringing this action, the plaintiff, if the defendant did discriminate, would give the defendant pause for thought in any future employment actions. Therefore, a public interest has been advanced.
The Court finds therefore that the plaintiff is the "prevailing party" and that nothing in the record dictates against an award of fees and costs.
In determining the amount of fees and costs to be awarded, this Court is guided by Copeland v. Marshall, 205 U.S. App. D.C. 390, 641 F.2d 880 (1980) and National Association of Concerned Veterans v. Secretary of Defense, 219 U.S. App. D.C. 94, 675 F.2d 1319 (1982). Plaintiff seeks an award of $26,990 for attorney's fees and $983.09 for costs, or a total award of $27,973.09. The Court, consistent with its obligation under Copeland, has reviewed the claim including the billing records submitted by the plaintiff and the supporting affidavits and concludes that both the hours billed and the hourly rates are reasonable.
Defendant argues that the claim made by the plaintiff is excessive. But in making that argument, the defendant notes that it has incurred legal fees "well over $50,000". Defendant's opposition to the Application at 7. If anything, defendant's statements support plaintiff's application as being reasonable, bearing in mind that the plaintiff has the burden of proof in such litigation and that there is little incentive to counsel becoming involved with such litigation.
In sum, the Court concludes that the plaintiff is "the prevailing party", that her request for attorney's fees and costs is reasonable, and that she is now entitled to an award in the amount of $26,990 for attorney's fees and $ 983.09 for costs, or a total award of $27,973.09. The Court finds no basis to add to the amount of that award.
In view of the above, it is hereby
ORDERED that plaintiff's application for attorney's fees and costs is granted, and it is further
ORDERED that the defendant shall pay to the plaintiff the sum of $26,990 for attorney's fees and $983.09 for costs or a total payment of $27,973.09, and it is further
ORDERED that the award is made to counsel for the plaintiff subject to the requirement that counsel reimburse the plaintiff for any sums she has paid them for attorney's fees and costs.
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