Monday, March 30, 2015

No Reduction of Attorney Fees for Unnecessary “Frontloaded” Work

The court granted in part defendant's motion for attorneys' fees under its inherent power because plaintiff's litigation was in bad faith and rejected plaintiff's argument that defense counsel frontloaded their work. "Defendant entered into a fixed-fee arrangement under which it paid counsel a set amount each month, irrespective of the amount of work performed during that period. Plaintiff argues that the arrangement incentivized defense counsel to perform work earlier than necessary so that counsel 'did not substantially exceed the cap on the payments it was to receive when the case started moving.'. . . [T]he Court does not find that defense counsel performed unnecessary, frontloaded work. . . . [R]esponsible attorneys would not stand around and wait for months once their client has been accused of infringement and then rush to perform all their work once they get more specific information. It is reasonable to begin investigating and preparing a defense once an infringement suit has been brought."

Parallel Iron LLC v. NetApp Inc., 1-12-cv-00769 (DED March 25, 2015, Order) (Andrews, J.)

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