District Judge Katherine B. Forrest


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The court referred plaintiff’s Sept. 16, 2016 motion to hold defendants in contempt of court, and his Nov. 16, 2016 motion for summary judgment as to attorneys’ fees and costs, to a magistrate judge. District court fully adopted the magistrate’s unobjected to Feb. 3, 2017 report and recommendation on the contempt motion. It entered judgment for defendants. However, the parties objected to the magistrate’s Jan. 31, 2017 recommendation that plaintiff be awarded $165,544 in attorneys’ fees and $41,386 in costs, for a total of $190,652.02 instead of the $241,683.02 that plaintiff had sought (Summary Judgment R&R). The report concluded that due to inadequate record-keeping and inclusion of time spent seeking attorneys’ fees—as well as block billing and vague time entries—the amount sought by plaintiff was unreasonable. District court adopted the Summary Judgment R&R with the addition of $9,645 to plaintiff’s $190,652.2 fee award, for a total of $200,297.02. The $9,645 had been improperly excluded because the parties’ release agreement allowed for recovery of attorneys’ fees incurred during “any judicial or arbitral proceeding to construe or enforce any provision of this Agreement” which, according to plaintiff, specifically covered such fees.