the complaint from 13.2 hours to 10 hours and
the time spent on preparing the motion for temporary restraining order
from 26 hours to 12 hours. Because Kelley's affidavit is unique to this
case, the court finds the time billed for that task is reasonable.
Finally, Kelley is not entitled to fees for the .3 hours that her
attorney spent preparing a civil cover sheet, which is a clerical task.
Knazavich v. Siglers Auto Center, Inc., No. 99 C 8407, 2001 WL 1335772 at
*3 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 29, 2001).
Fourth, the City argues that time spent on the motion for reassignment
of this case to Judge Andersen as related to Cataldo was not reasonable.
The court disagrees and finds that the motion for reassignment was a
reasonable strategy. The court notes that reassignment of this case to
Judge Andersen as related would have resulted in a more efficient
disposition of both cases and a reduced expenditure of attorney time. See
Jaffee, 142 F.3d at 414 (reviewing the litigation as a whole, and not
just plaintiffs successful claims, in determining the number of hours
that plaintiffs counsel reasonably incurred).
Fifth, the City argues that the time Kelley's counsel spent on
correspondence with the City regarding Kelley's leave time was not
reasonable and that the time should be billed at a reduced rate. As
Kelley points out in her reply, the issue of leave time was central to
determining when she would suffer irreparable harm. Furthermore, the City
provides no authority, nor has the court's own research revealed any, to
support its argument that attorney correspondence should be billed at a
reduced rate. The court concludes that time spent on correspondence
regarding Kelley's leave time was reasonable.
Therefore, the court concludes that Karen Ward, ("Ward") Kelley's lead
counsel, reasonably incurred 115.3 hours of work on this case and that
her co-counsel Byron Mason ("Mason") reasonably incurred 34.3 hours on
2. Reasonable Hourly Rate
The City challenges Ward's billing rate of $300.00 per hour. Ward bases
her rate on her academic and professional background as well as her
experience in discrimination cases under the Americans with Disabilities
Act and the Rehabilitation Act. (Aff. of Karen I. Ward in Supp. of Pet.
for Att'ys Fees, ¶ 8.) Additionally, in an affidavit attached as an
exhibit to Kelley's reply, Paul Mollica, a Chicago employment
discrimination attorney, states that the billing rates of Ward and Mason
are reasonable and consistent with the rates of other Chicago employment
discrimination attorneys with comparable experience and backgrounds.
(Pl.'s Rep. to Def.'s Resp. to Pl.'s Pet. for Award of Att'ys Fees, Ex. A
¶¶ 4, 5.) The City offers no evidence in rebuttal. Therefore, the
court finds that the billing rates of both Ward — $300.00 per hour
— and Mason — $200.00 per hour — are proportionate to
their background and experience as well as consistent with the applicable
market rate. See Bull v. Coyner, No. 98 C 7583, 2001 WL 630339 at *1
(N.D. Ill. May 30, 2001) ("An attorney's market rate is the rate that
lawyers of similar ability and experience normally charge their paying
clients for the type of work in question. . . . However, `[T]he
attorney's actual billing rate for comparable work is presumptively
appropriate to use as the market rate.'") (quoting Spegon v. Catholic
Bishop of Chicago, 175 F.3d 544, 555) (7th Cir. 1999)).
Multiplying the 115.3 hours that Ward worked on this case by her
$300.00 hourly rate and multiplying the 34.3 hours that Mason worked on
this case by his $200.00 hourly rate, the court concludes that Kelley is
entitled to a reasonable fee of $41,450.00.
For the reasons set forth herein, the court grants Kelley's petition
for award of attorney's fees and awards Kelley fees in the amount of