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IN RE CENTRAL R.R. CO.

October 5, 1979

In the Matter of THE CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY OF NEW JERSEY, Debtor.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WHIPPLE

Presently before the Court are six applications for final allowances in this railroad reorganization proceeding. Filed pursuant to the Bankruptcy Act § 77, sub. c(12), 11 U.S.C. § 205(c)(12), the applications are for services rendered over varying portions of the twelve year period during which the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey (hereinafter the "Debtor") has been in reorganization. On July 2, 1979 the Amended Plan of Reorganization was approved. In the Matter of the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey, 473 F. Supp. 225 (D.N.J.1979). It was confirmed on August 15, 1979, with the consummation order signed September 14, 1979. On September 4, 1979 the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied the Reading Railroad's motion for an expedited appeal and denied the request for summary reversal. *fn1"

Though these have been lengthy proceedings, when compared to other railroads who have faced similar financial problems, twelve years is not an inordinate amount of time. The duration does not reflect anything less than professional skills being utilized throughout. Not all of the proceedings for which compensation is sought occurred before this Court. While numerous actions have been taken in various places, this Court has been in the position to witness directly or indirectly all the services which have been performed.

Not all of the applications are for attorney's fees. The Indenture Trustee seeks reimbursement for accounting, engineering, and legal expenses. The Trustee of the Debtor seeks an allowance for the services he has performed. It is important to note that a major distinction will be made between those who have received interim allowances and those who have waited as much as ten years to be paid.

 There are general criteria which can be applied to all six petitions and are not limited strictly to railroad reorganizations. In In the Matter of Imperial 400, 431 F. Supp. 155 (D.N.J.1977) this Court awarded final allowances in keeping with the following considerations:

 
. . . the time expended (and the quality of the time records maintained), the benefits conferred upon the estate by the work performed, the degree of difficulty of that work, the results accomplished, the standing of the particular professional performing the work both within his professional community and as a professional skilled in the reorganization proceedings . . . .

 431 F. Supp. at 160. *fn2"

 More particularly "the petitioners (herein) bear the burden of proving that the services for which compensation is sought under § 77(c)(12) measurably benefited the estate" of the Debtor. See In the Matter of New York, New Haven & Hartford R. Co., 421 F. Supp. 249 (D.Conn.1976) Aff'd 567 F.2d 166 (2d Cir. 1977), and citations therein 421 F. Supp. at 253. The services must have advanced the course of reorganization and not impeded it. Moreover the general rule is that there must not be duplication or overlapping of services rendered by the trustee (his counsel) and by the other petitioners. Id., 421 F. Supp. at 253.

 All of these factors have been carefully weighed in studying the petitions and materials submitted in support thereof. Additionally in viewing the four applications for attorney's fees the Court has been guided by the applicable standards laid down in Lindy Brothers of Philadelphia v. American Radiator, 487 F.2d 161 (3d Cir. 1973) (hereinafter Lindy I ) and Lindy Brothers of Philadelphia v. American Radiator, 540 F.2d 102 (3d Cir. 1976) (hereinafter Lindy II ). Extensive discussion of those specific standards is unnecessary. The basic formula is the number of hours of service supported by accurate time records, multiplied by the rate per hour. The rate per hour is determined by looking to the normal amount charged while taking into account the reputation and status of the particular professional. The resulting figure is called the "lodestar." Adjustments can be made to the "lodestar" to reflect the quality of the methods utilized, the result in the case, and also the assumption of professional burdens. These burdens could include a particularly complex set of legal problems, any risks, and possible delays in payment. Though a specific formula is discussed in Lindy I and Lindy II, the Third Circuit noted it was unnecessary for a district court to:

 
become enmeshed in a meticulous analysis of every detailed facet of the professional representation.

 540 F.2d at 116.

 The court thus enjoys a certain amount of discretion in ruling upon these petitions. Furthermore, one who seeks to establish an abuse of that discretion on appeal, "assumes a heavy burden." 540 F.2d at 115-116.

 A hearing was held at which time there were no objections put forth to any of these petitions. However, this does not mean that all will be granted in full. As was stated in Imperial 400, supra :

 
. . . different applicants will be compensated at different rates, i. e., a comparison of hourly rates reached by dividing the hours claimed into the total compensation, will show disparate results. No uniform hourly rate can be applied because of the numerous factors that must be carefully considered. Moreover, in making these awards I have taken into account the specific time period during which the services were rendered by respective applicants, the hourly rates that were in effect during those time periods, the fact that many of the applicants have been waiting many years for compensation . . . contemporaneous with the rendering of the services, the aggregate amount that I deem ...

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