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Judge Brian M. Cogan Decided: Oct. 9, 2009 This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy, dated July 17, 2009 (the “Recommendation”), which recommends that the Court award plaintiffs $261,567.50 in legal fees and $26,162.22 in costs associated with the spoliation of evidence contained on defendant Zalman Klein’s laptop computer. The Court has reviewed the Recommendation and defendants’ objections thereto, and for the reasons that follow adopts the Recommendation, with a slight modification, reflecting the recent Second Circuit precedent on out-of-district hourly rates, decided shortly after Judge Levy’s Recommendation.

Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3), a “district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge’s disposition that has been properly objected to.” A proper objection requires reference to a specific portion of the magistrate judge’s recommendation; if a party “makes only conclusory or general objections, or simply reiterates his original arguments, the Court reviews the Report and Recommendation only for clear error.” Pall Corp. v. Entegris, Inc., 249 F.R.D. 48, 51 (E.D.N.Y. 2008) (quoting Barratt v. Joie, No. 96 CIV 0324, 2002 WL 335014, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 4, 2002)). Furthermore, even in a de novo review of a party’s specific objections, the court will not consider “arguments, case law and/or evidentiary material which could have been, but [were] not, presented to the magistrate judge in the first instance.” Kennedy v. Adamo, No. 02 CV 01776, 2006 WL 3704784, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 1, 2006) (quoting Haynes v. Quality Markets, No. 02-CV-250, 2003 WL 23610575, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 2003)). Defendants have set forth two bases for their objections: (1) the Recommendation erroneously considered Southern District hourly rates and (2) the Recommendation ignores defendants’ previous objections to the reasonableness of the number of hours expended in the spoliation dispute.

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