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Carl Barnes, et al v. District of Columbia

May 6, 2011

CARL BARNES, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Royce C. Lamberth, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Before the Court are the following motions:

* Defendant's Motion for Extension of Time to Reply to Motion to Compel Payment of Expert Karen Albert's Preparation Time [260], the opposition thereto [264], and the lack of reply;

* Defendant's Motion to Compel Payment of Expert Karen Albert's Preparation Time [225]; the opposition thereto [251], and the reply [266];

* Simon Banks's Applicant 2nd Motion to Intervene and to Modify Protective Order [249], Mr. Banks's numerous memoranda in support of his motion, the opposition to the motion [262], and the lack of reply;

* Defendant's Motion to Preclude Further Motions by Applicant Banks Absent Prior Leave of Court [263], the opposition thereto [267], and the reply [273];

* Simon Banks, Applicant's Motion to Stay Decision(s) on All Dispositive Motions Until After the Court Issues Decision upon Applicant's Application for Intervention and Motion for Declaratory Judgment [268]; and

* Simon Banks, Applicant's Motion for Declaratory Relief Pursuant to Rule 57 and 28 U.S.C. § 2201 [269] and Supplement to Motion for Declaratory Relief [272].

The Court will address the motions in turn.

I.Defendant's Motion for Extension of Time to Reply to Motion to Compel Payment of Expert Karen Albert's Preparation Time [260]

Upon consideration of defendant's Motion for Extension of Time to Reply to Motion to Compel Payment of Expert Karen Albert's Preparation Time [260], the opposition thereto [264], the lack of reply, and the entire record in this case, it is hereby

ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED nunc pro tunc; and it is furthermore ORDERED that defendant may file its reply on or before April 21, 2011.

II.Defendant's Motion to Compel Payment of Expert Karen Albert's Preparation Time [225]

Upon consideration of defendant's Motion to Compel Payment of Expert Karen Albert's Preparation Time [225], the opposition thereto [251], the reply [266], applicable law, and the entire record in this case, the Court will grant in part and reserve judgment in part on the motion.

The District has proffered Ms. Albert as an expert witness. "Ms. Albert seeks $1,750 for her preparation time, which includes three hours meeting with counsel, three hours reviewing documents and two hours traveling to and from the site of the deposition." ([225] at 4.) Ms. Albert charges $175 per hour. This preparation time includes two hours of travel in each direction, totaling four hours of travel, and seven and a half hours of time spent at the deposition. ([225-1] at 2.)

Plaintiffs challenge Ms. Albert's fee in four respects: (1) Ms. Albert is not properly qualified as an expert, so she should not be paid an expert fee; (2) the fee is not reasonable; (3) Ms. Albert is being paid a lump sum, so she is not entitled to an hourly fee; and (4) because the District initially argued that time spent preparing for a deposition is not compensable, their expert should not be compensated for time spent preparing for her deposition. The Court disagrees with plaintiffs on issues one, two, and four, and reserves judgment on issue three. The Court notes that Ms. Albert's invoice charges for four hours of travel time. Plaintiffs do not challenge this part of the invoice, other than by generally arguing that none of Ms. Albert's preparation time is compensable. Plaintiffs have thus ...


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