(Sergey Tryapitsyn)

Attorneys who represented three plaintiffs who recovered less than $7,000 in a wage dispute case against a Bronx restaurant are entitled to more than $30,000 in attorney fees for their work on the case, a federal judge has ruled.

Lawyers from the Akin Law Group represented three plaintiffs who in a lawsuit filed in 2015 accused their former employer, Master Wok, of paying them below minimum wage as well as failing to pay them for overtime, thus violating both the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa of the Southern District of New York partially granted the plaintiffs’ motion for default judgment and said that the plaintiffs are entitled to recover almost $7,000 combined in unpaid damages.  

On the issue of attorney fees, Leopold Raic of the Akin Law Group argued that he, two other attorneys with the firm and three paralegals spent about 113 hours in the case and thus should be awarded more than $30,000 in attorney fees and out-of-pocket costs.

While acknowledging a “notable difference” in the amount the attorneys recovered for their clients and the amount they requested in attorney fees, Griesa found for the attorneys.

According to court papers, Raic’s hourly rate is $300; Akin partner Zafer Akin’s is $350 per hour and Emre Polat, who is of counsel to the firm, has an hourly rate of $275.