CASE NO. CV-02-05662 AHM (SHx)
ORDER AWARDING ATTORNEYS' FEES, COSTS AND EXPENSES PURSUANT TO SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
On December 5, 2011, the Court entered the Stipulated Judgment pursuant to the parties' Settlement Agreement. Docket No. 779. Under ¶36 of the Settlement Agreement, State Defendants have agreed to pay to Plaintiffs' counsel $3.75 million as an all-inclusive attorneys' fees sum, including costs and expenses. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(h), Plaintiffs have moved for an award of $3.75 million in fees, costs and expenses. No class member has objected to this portion of the Agreement.
During the course of this nearly decade-long litigation, the Court has reviewed scores of pleadings, encompassing thousands of pages of documents; has presided over dozens of hearings; and, with the consent of the parties, served as a mediator on fees and costs issues. The Court has also reviewed Plaintiffs' memorandum and declarations filed in support of the motion, and State Defendants' responding memorandum. Based on this extensive familiarity with all aspects of this litigation, the Court concludes that $3.75 million is a reasonable award. Indeed, Plaintiffs' lodestar through March 2011 - based on the reasonable number of hours worked times a reasonable hourly rate for each attorney, paralegal and law clerk on the case - is substantially more than that amount.
Accordingly, the Court orders State Defendants to pay to Plaintiffs' counsel $3.75 million. Pursuant to ¶37 of the Settlement Agreement, interest shall accrue on this amount at the rate of 7% beginning December 6, 2011.
The check shall be issued to the Western Center on Law and Poverty, which is authorized to accept payment on behalf of its co-counsel.
A. HOWARD MATZ
United States District Judge