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ARENSON v. BOARD OF TRADE OF CITY OF CHICAGO

February 11, 1974

ARENSON ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
BOARD OF TRADE OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO ET AL., DEFENDANTS. SAVETT, PLAINTIFF, V. BOARD OF TRADE OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO ET AL., DEFENDANTS. FULLER ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, V. BOARD OF TRADE OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO ET AL., DEFENDANTS. WENGERT, PLAINTIFF, V. BOARD OF TRADE OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO ET AL., DEFENDANTS. ARENSON ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, V. CHICAGO MERCANTILE EXCHANGE ET AL., DEFENDANTS. RYAN ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, V. REYNOLDS SECURITIES, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS. RYAN ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, V. MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS. RYAN ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, V. F.I. DUPONT ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bauer, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This cause comes on an application for the fixing of counsel fees and for reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs.

This application is submitted on behalf of all counsel for the class representatives in the above-captioned consolidated actions. The Settlement Agreement which this Court approved on June 4, 1973, after a full hearing and appropriate notice to the members of the class, specifically provided that applicants were to receive from defendant exchanges their counsel fees and reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs and expenses, all as determined by this Court.

The applicants contend that since the time for appeal from the order approving the settlement has expired and the order has become final, they are entitled to receive such counsel fees and reimbursement of costs and expenses. The applicants request that this Court fix their counsel fees and allow reimbursement of their out-of-pocket costs and expenses as follows:

  Counsel Fees ........................... $2,250,000.00
  Out-of-Pocket Costs
  and Expenses .............................. $14,486.25

The applicants and defendants have submitted memoranda and affidavits in support of their respective positions. On December 7, 1973 a hearing was held on this matter and pursuant to this Court's request at that hearing the applicants have filed more detailed affidavits and memoranda in support of their application. This Court has seriously examined the memoranda and affidavits submitted by the parties in support of their respective positions and carefully weighed the testimony and arguments made at the hearing on December 7, 1973.

ATTORNEYS' FEES

It is within the exercise of this Court's informed discretion to decide upon the amount of reasonable attorneys' fees and out-of-pocket expenses. Tranberg v. Tranberg, 456 F.2d 173 (3rd Cir. 1972); Cappel v. Adams, 434 F.2d 1278 (5th Cir. 1970).

Various objective "checklists" have been devised as guidelines for determining a fair award of attorneys' fees. See Hanover Shoe, Inc. v. United Shoe Machine Corporation, 245 F. Supp. 258 (M.D.Pa. 1965), vacated on other grounds, 377 F.2d 776 (3rd Cir. 1967), affirmed in part on other grounds, 392 U.S. 481, 88 S.Ct. 2224, 20 L.Ed.2d 1231 (1968); Colson v. Hilton Hotels Corporation, 59 F.R.D. 324 (N.D.Ill. 1972); Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hughes et al., 312 F. Supp. 478 (S.D.N.Y. 1970); In re Osofsky, 50 F.2d 925 (S.D.N.Y. 1931). It is the opinion of this Court that the following factors are important to the proper determination of the amount of reasonable attorneys' fees:

I. The Magnitude and Complexity of the Litigation.

A. The number of parties to the action.

    B. The complexity of the issues contained in the
       action.

C. The social effect of litigation.

    D. Whether plaintiffs' or defendants' counsel had
       the benefit of a prior judgment or decree in a
       similar or identical case brought by the
       Government or a private party.
    E. The significance of the litigation and the
       responsibilities undertaken.

II. The Quality of the Services Provided.

    A. The eminence of the attorneys at the bar and in
       the specialty in which they are practicing.
    B. The value of the attorneys' work in the instant
       case as demonstrated by skill involved in
       drafting the pleadings and memoranda, and the
       quality of the arguments before the ...

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