United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. REEVES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action arose from copyright infringement that occurred at the
Blue Moon establishment in Richmond, Kentucky. The Court
granted Plaintiffs Broadcast Music, Inc.'s
(“BMI”), Del Sound Music's, House of Cash,
Inc.'s, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.'s,
Eleksylum Music, Inc.'s, No. Surrender Music's,
Muscle Shoals Sound Publishing Co.'s, Peermusic III,
Ltd.'s, and ARC Music Corp.'s motion for summary
judgment. The Court concluded that Defendants Mary Katherine
Lockhart and Prentice Richardson knowingly and intentionally
infringed upon four copyrights licensed by the plaintiffs.
[Record No. 41] The Court granted statutory damages and a
permanent injunction. [Id.] The Court further noted
that attorney's fees would be awarded and directed the
plaintiffs to submit evidence of their fees. [Id.]
The plaintiffs' counsel filed an affidavit and invoices
in support of their request for attorney's fees. [Record
No. 43] The defendants had fourteen days to object to the
plaintiffs' submission but did not file any objections.
505 allows the Court to award full costs, including
reasonable attorney's fees. 17 U.S.C. § 505. Courts
routinely award reasonable attorney's fees in these
actions and, as previously explained, an award of such fees
is appropriate here. See, e.g., Coleman v. Payne,
698 F.Supp. 704, 707-08 (W.D. Mich. 1988). Thus, the Court
turns to the reasonableness of the fee request.
lodestar is the “proper method for determining the
amount of reasonable attorney's fees.” Broad.
Music, Inc. v. J.M. Cirelli, Inc., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
84832 *1, *14 (N.D. Ohio Nov. 21, 2006) (quoting Building
Svcs. Local 47 Cleaning Contractors Pension Plan v. Grandview
Raceway, 46 F.3d 1392, 1401 (6th Cir. 1995)). This
method multiplies the number of hours reasonably expended by
a reasonable hourly rate. Northeast Ohio Coalition for
the Homeless v. Husted, 831 F.3d 686, 702 (6th
Cir. 2016) (citing Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S.
424, 433 (1983)). And the amount may be adjusted based upon
various factors, including:
(1) the time and labor required; (2) the novelty and
difficulty of the questions; (3) the skill requisite to
perform the legal service properly; (4) the preclusion of
other employment by the attorney due to acceptance of the
case; (5) the customary fee; (6) whether the fee is fixed or
contingent; (7) time limitations imposed by the client or the
circumstances; (8) the amount involved and the results
obtained; (9) the experience, reputation, and ability of the
attorneys; (10) the “undesirability” of the case;
(11) the nature and length of the professional relationship
with the client; and (12) awards in similar cases.
Geier v. Sundquist, 372 F.3d 784, 792-93 (6th Cir.
2004) (quoting Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express,
Inc., 488 F.2d 714, 718-19 (5th Cir. 1974)); Meyers
v. Chapman Printing Co., Inc., 840 S.W.2d 814, 826 (Ky.
1992). However, a lodestar calculation is presumptively
reasonable. Adcock-Ladd v. Sec'y of the
Treasury, 227 F.3d 343, 349-50 (6th Cir. 2000).
plaintiffs must “demonstrate that the amount sought is
not excessive and accurately reflects the reasonable value of
bona fide legal expenses incurred.” A & A
Mechanical, Inc. v. Thermal Equip. Sales, Inc., 998
S.W.2d 505, 514 (Ky. Ct. App. 1999); Blum v.
Stenson, 465 U.S. 886, 897 (1984). In calculating an
appropriate award, “[a] district court may look to a
party's submissions, awards in analogous cases, state bar
association guidelines, and its own knowledge and experience
in handling similar fee requests[.]” Ne. Ohio Coal.
for the Homeless, 831 F.3d at 716 (internal citations
and quotations omitted).
plaintiffs seek $23, 600.00 in attorney's fees and
reimbursement of expenses totaling $684.74. [Record No. 43]
In support, attorney April Wimberg provided an affidavit and
relevant invoices. The affidavit identified individuals
working on the matter, a description of work performed,
relevant hourly rates, and the number of hours expended by
each person. Plaintiffs' counsel and staff preformed a
total 93.1 hours of work on the case with hourly rates
ranging from $117.27 for a paralegal to $393.21 for a
amount sought here for attorney's fees and costs totals
$24, 284.74 and is similar to awards in other copyright
infringement cases in the circuit. For example, in another
case from this district, the Court awarded $30, 760.51 in
attorney's fees. See Broad. Music, Inc. v.
Rooster's, Inc., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36616 *1, *10
(E.D. Ky. Mar. 29, 2006). Likewise, the court for the
Northern District of Ohio awarded $23, 678.75 for costs and
attorney's fees. See Big Tree Enters v. Hooker,
1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17623 *1, *9 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 30, 1992).
on the foregoing, it is hereby
that the plaintiffs are awarded attorney's fees and costs