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Atlantic States Legal Found. v. Universal Tool & Stamping Co.

ELR Citation: 23 ELR 20283
Nos. No. F87-95, 798 F. Supp. 522/(N.D. Ind., 07/14/1992) Attorney fees granted in part

The court holds that the reasonable market rate for attorneys in the northern district of Indiana applies in determining an attorney fees award in a Federal Water Pollution Control Act citizen suit brought in Indiana, because the court must look to the rate charged by attorneys of similar skill and experience in the relevant community, not the community from which the group's attorneys come. The citizens' group did not demonstrate that it was necessary to seek counsel outside of the northern district of Indiana. The court also holds that the hours billed by the citizens' group's attorneys after summary judgment on liability was granted would not be reduced simply because the civil penalty assessed was only 18 percent of the amount suggested by the group's attorney. Even if the group did not ultimately prevail on all of its claims, it will be awarded all of its fees, as long as the claims are related. The court also holds that the trial court's failure to find all of the group's expert testimony credible did not require the reduction of expert witness fees. Simply because the court found some evidence more credible than other evidence does not lessen the value when the court is considering the level of damages. Finally, the court holds that travel expenses incurred by the group's counsel for trips to the northern district of Indiana would be disallowed, absent a showing that local counsel was unavailable.

[A prior decision in this litigation is published at 20 ELR 21152.]

Counsel for Plaintiff
Peter G. Mallers II
Beers, Mallers, Backs & Salin
1100 Fort Wayne Nat'l Bank Bldg., Fort Wayne IN 46802
(219) 426-9706

Richard J. Kilsheimer
Kaplan, Kilsheimer & Foley
685 Third Ave., New York NY 10017
(212) 687-1980

Counsel for Defendant
Milford M. Miller
Miller, Carson & Boxberger
1400 One Summit Sq., Fort Wayne IN 46802
(219) 423-9411