1. Plaintiffs seek 18 minutes in attorney time, at $ 25.50, for each of 28 "Letter[s] to Cecilia Wirtz, Esq. re: document request," for a total charge of $ 714;
2. Plaintiffs seek 18 minutes in attorney time, at $ 25.50, for each of 18 "Hearing request[s] to Dr. Burch," for a total charge of $ 459. Interestingly, the charge for one of the letters is dated July 5, 1995, well after final resolution of this case. The letters are identical, save for the name of the child and his or her parent(s). See Exhibits 1-18, attached to plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (June 22, 1995)
3. Plaintiffs seek 18 minutes in attorney time, at $ 25.50, for each of 15 "Letter[s] to Dr. Burch re: scheduling bearing," for a total charge of $ 382.50;
4. Plaintiffs seek 1 1/2 hours in attorney time, at $ 127.50, for "preparing discovery for due process hearing[s]" on behalf of each of 16 plaintiffs, for a total charge of $ 2040.00. Incredibly, all this time (24 hours) is billed by the same attorney for the same day, June 1, 1995. This same attorney billed another six hours for June 1, 1995 for her research activities, for a total of 30 billed hours for one attorney for one 24 hour day.
5. Plaintiffs seek 18 minutes, at $ 25.50, for each of 17 "letter[s] to Donovan Anderson, Esq. re: additional document for due process hearing," for a total charge of $ 433.50;
6. Plaintiffs seek 18 minutes, at $ 25.50, for each of 16 "letter[s] to Lynn Milgram re: confirmation to attend hearing" and "follow-up conversation," for a total charge of $ 408. According to plaintiffs' submission, 16 separate "follow-up conversation[s]" took place between the attorney and Ms. Milgram on the same day, June 5, 1995;
7. Plaintiffs seek 18 minutes, at $ 25.50, for each of 16 "letter[s] to Donovan Anderson, Esq. re: additional witness for due process hearing," for a total charge of $ 408; and
8. Plaintiffs seek 18 minutes, at $ 25.50, for each of 17 "letter[s] to client re: status of ESY services," for a total charge of $ 433.50.
As is plainly evident from the above-listed examples, in some instances plaintiffs seek fees far in excess of what is reasonable for the work performed. In this age of computer technology, the Court simply cannot countenance these substantial separate attorney charges for preparation of virtually identical documents on behalf of similarly-situated plaintiffs, when the task simply involves printing another document.
Moreover, the Court has reviewed copies of the letters, submitted by defendants, and compared them with plaintiffs' fee request. In several instances, separate time charges are sought for numerous plaintiffs for simple letters which themselves are written on behalf of multiple plaintiffs. See Def. Exh. 1-7, copies of which are attached to this Memorandum Opinion and Order. For example, Def. Exh. 3 is a May 22, 1995 letter from plaintiffs' counsel to Dr. Robert Burch, requesting that immediate hearings be scheduled for 16 students, whose names are listed in the letter. Plaintiffs' fee submission seeks separate 18 minute charges for 15 plaintiffs for preparation of the same letter. Plaintiffs' fee request in connection with these boilerplate documents is unquestionably excessive. Accordingly, plaintiffs shall be awarded only a single charge for each of the above-listed activities, for a total award of $ 306.00. This corresponds to compensation for nearly four hours of attorney time for preparation of several simple and routine documents, in contrast to the 62 hours sought by plaintiffs.
This adjustment reduces plaintiffs' fee award from the $ 18,621.07 sought by plaintiffs to a more reasonable sum of $ 13,648.57.
For the reasons expressed above, it is hereby
ORDERED that plaintiffs are awarded $ 13,648.57 in attorneys' fees and costs. A separate judgment will be issued this date.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
July 10, 1996
JOYCE HENS GREEN
United States District Judge
CASE # CA95-1195 JHG
BOGIN AND EIG, P. C.
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
1776 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE, N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036
FACSIMILE: (202) 667-9146
March 23, 1995
Cecilia Wirtz, Esq.
D.C. Public Schools
415 12th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
RE: United Cerebral Palsy Therapeutic Nursery Program
Dear Ms. Wirtz:
I am writing to request all documents regarding the following students, all of whom attend the Therapeutic Nursery Program at Carver Educational Center. I am enclosing copies of the authorization forms for each student for this purpose. The students are as follows: