have sought. The first factor is that a portion of the work performed was duplicative. The second factor is that only partners at the law firm rendered services in this litigation and, consequently, all of the work performed was billed at "partner rates." Accepting plaintiffs' judgment that non-attorney personnel lacked both the qualifications and competency to perform work on this case, the court nevertheless believes that some, if not a good deal, of the legal research could have been performed by associates and, therefore, billed at a lower rate. In ordering a reduction of the proposed lodestar, this court has been careful not to effect a "double reduction," that is, reduce both the hourly rate and the number of hours for work the court deems unnecessary. Cf. In re Fine Paper Antitrust Litigation, 751 F.2d at 599. A few examples will suffice.
Plaintiff's affidavit of services rendered indicates that 65.5 hours were spent preparing the memorandum of law in opposition to the first stay application filed in the Supreme Court; 7.5 hours were expended by Mr. Hellring, 14.75 by Mr. Goldstein, 12.25 by Mr. Raymar, and 31 by Mr. Dreyfuss. With respect to the February 26, 1982, hearing before the three-judge court in Trenton, Mr. Goldstein has billed 7 hours, Mr. Raymar 6.5, and Mr. Dreyfuss 6.5. All four of the attorneys have billed 6.5 hours for oral argument at the Supreme Court on March 2, 1983, and in addition, although Mr. Hellring who argued before the Court has billed approximately 35 hours solely for preparation for oral argument, Mr. Goldstein has also billed 11.5 hours for oral argument preparation, Mr. Raymar 8 hours, and Mr. Dreyfuss 15.5 hours. Plaintiffs' affidavit of services and client service records are replete with instances in which three or four attorneys billed large numbers of hours for strategy and other conferences (see Affidavit of Services Feb. 27 to Mar. 6, 1982; Mar. 15 to 18, 1982; July 8, 1983; July 12, 1983; Feb. 2 to 3, 1984).
In this court's opinion, the attorneys did not in every instance need to spend all of the hours each of them did on legal research, three and four attorneys were not necessary in court, not all of the time spent preparing for oral argument by all four attorneys was necessary, and not every attorney should be compensated for time spent in conference. See May v. Cooperman, 582 F. Supp. at 1460-61. Rather than making a determination respecting each piece of the litigation as to "whether a particular motion could have been done in 9.6 hours instead of 14.3 hours," see Copeland v. Marshall, 205 U.S. App. D.C. 390, 641 F.2d 880, 903 (D.C. Cir. 1980) (en banc), this court, in its discretion, will reduce the number of hours requested by ten percent. See Louisville Black Police Off. v. City of Louisville, 700 F.2d at 279. This reduction will be applied to each attorney on a pro rata basis, so that of the 1,697.76 hours reasonably expended (1,886.4 requested), Mr. Hellring will be treated as having expended 485.46 hours (539.4 requested), Mr. Goldstein at 507.97 (564.41 requested), Mr. Raymar at 162.30 (180.33 requested), and Mr. Dreyfuss at 542.03 (602.26 requested).
Having calculated the number of hours reasonably expended, the court's next inquiry is the reasonable hourly rate. What plaintiffs have asked for in determining the lodestar is high. Mr. Hellring's customary hourly rate is $ 300, Mr. Goldstein's $ 200, and Messrs. Dreyfuss and Raymar bill at $ 150. The court must look to what the attorney's time normally commands in the marketplace, Cunningham v. City of McKeesport, 753 F.2d at 267-68, as well as "to the prevailing market rates in the relevant community." Blum v. Stenson, 104 S. Ct. at 1547.
Although the court must look to the relevant community, it is interesting to note that in other recent legislative and congressional redistricting cases, a Topeka, Kansas, firm was awarded an attorney's fee at an hourly rate of $ 75, and a large Chicago firm was compensated at the hourly rate of $ 100 to $ 175 for partners and $ 65 to $ 79 for associates. See In re Kansas Congress. Dist. Reapportionment Cases, 745 F.2d at 613; Rybicki v. State Bd. of Elections of State of Ill., 584 F. Supp. 849, 858 (N.D. Ill. 1984). Recently Judge Debevoise awarded counsel for the prevailing plaintiffs in the "moment of silence" litigation, a case he found to present novel issues of constitutional law with aggressive and skilled opposition, hourly rates of $ 125 and $ 85, but reduced from $ 150 to $ 125 the hourly rate of Professor Cantor, a constitutional law professor at Rutgers Law School. May v. Cooperman, 582 F. Supp. at 1460-62; see also Grendel's Den, Inc. v. Larkin, 582 F. Supp. 1220, 1228 (D. Mass.), modified, 749 F.2d 945, 955-56 (1st Cir. 1984) (District court held Professor Tribe of Harvard Law School, one of the nation's leading constitutional-law authorities, entitled to hourly rate of $ 275; but First Circuit, conceding the professor's academic distinction, reduced hourly rate to $ 175).
In their brief in support of the application for an attorney's fee, plaintiffs have brought to the attention of this court several cases in the District of New Jersey in which judges awarded hourly rates ranging from $ 60 to $ 250. Despite this court's belief that the hourly rates charged are high, see Hall v. Borough of Roselle, 747 F.2d 838, 841 (3d Cir. 1984), plaintiffs have sustained their burden of establishing the reasonableness of the $ 200 hourly rate charged by Mr. Goldstein as well as the $ 150 hourly rates charged by Messrs. Raymar and Dreyfuss. See Council Enterprises, Inc. v. Atlantic City, 200 N.J. Super. 431, 446-47, 491 A.2d 789 (Law Div. 1984). The $ 300 hourly rate charged by Mr. Hellring, however, is excessive when compared to the prevailing market rate in the community in which he practices and will be reduced to $ 250. As will be explained below, the amounts calculated from these hourly rates must be reduced to reflect the fact that only partners worked on this case, and some of the tasks performed during the litigation cannot be compensated at partner rates. Once again, a few examples will suffice.
Plaintiffs' affidavit of services rendered indicates that from July 8 through November 10, 1982, approximately 190 hours were spent on preparation of the Supreme Court brief. Of those hours, most were expended by Mr. Hellring (49) and Mr. Dreyfuss (133.9). Under plaintiffs' fee schedule, the lowest hourly rate charged for any of the work done on the Supreme Court brief was $ 150. It is this court's opinion that at least some of that work could have been performed by associates and billed at a lower rate. See Ursic v. Bethlehem Mines, 719 F.2d 670, 677 (3d Cir. 1983); McMullan v. Thornburgh, 570 F. Supp. 1070, 1073-75 (E.D. Pa. 1983).
Plaintiffs' time sheets show trips to the airport, New Brunswick, and Washington, D.C., to meet with clients and adversaries and to appear in court, but these records are inadequate as to how much time was spent in travel and how much in conference or in court (see Affidavit of Services and time sheets of Mar. 1, June 22, and July 21, 1983). Although plaintiffs have explained that they were able to discuss strategy and perform other work related to the case while at the same time accomplishing the journey, their records are insufficient to support this assertion.
Rather than fixing different rates for different kinds of legal services performed by the same attorney and reducing greatly the rates for time spent travelling or filing papers in court, see Brewster v. Dukakis, 544 F. Supp. 1069, 1080 (D. Mass. 1982), the court will reduce the lodestar by twenty percent. It was the fee applicant's prerogative to staff every task involved in this case with partners, but that does not automatically entitle the law firm to recover "partner rates" for everything. See Poston v. Fox, 577 F. Supp. 915, 919-20 (D.N.J. 1984). The lodestar is calculated as follows:
Mr. Hellring 485.46 hours X $ 250 = $ 121,365.00
Mr. Goldstein 507.97 hours X $ 200 = 101,594.00
Mr. Raymar 162.3 hours X $ 150 = 24,345.00
Mr. Dreyfuss 542.03 hours X $ 150 = 81,304.50
Totals 1,697.76 hours $ 328,608.50
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