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Marctec, LLC v. Johnson & Johnson

February 22, 2010

MARCTEC, LLC, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHNSON & JOHNSON AND CORDIS CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

I. Introduction

Before the Court isDefendants' Motion to Tax Costs (Doc. 183), to which Plaintiff has responded in opposition (Doc. 186) and Defendants have replied (Doc. 199). Defendants move pursuant to FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 54(d) and LOCAL RULE 54.2. Initially, Defendants sought an Order awarding their taxable costs in the total amount of $80,625.81. Defendants submitted their bill of costs, showing the categorical breakdown for their expenses, along with the appropriate declaration and supporting documentation. Plaintiff objects to several cost items for which Defendants seek reimbursement, arguing that the Court should reduce the recoverable costs to an amount of no more than $27,732.51, as it believes the remainder of the taxable costs sought by Defendants are improper and non-taxable. In their Reply, Defendants concede that some of the objections raised by Plaintiff have merit and thus, in an effort "to avoid unnecessary disputes," reduces its request for an award of costs by $20,642.55, thereby amending the total amount sought to be taxed as $59,983.26. Acknowledging Plaintiff's agreement to amend the amount sought, the Court will only address those costs which remain in dispute.

Taxable costs are allowed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920.*fn1 In this case, the Court will also follow the guidance provided by its own Local Civil Rule 54.2 regarding taxation of costs ("Civ. L. R. 54.2").*fn2 However, it is within the district court's discretion to determine which costs Defendants seek fall within the ambit specifically recognized by law and whether these claimed expenses are also reasonable, given the circumstances. See State of Ill. v. Sangamo Construction Co., 657 F.2d 855, 863-64 (7th Cir. 1981). A separate analysis will be conducted of each category of Defendants' claimed costs to determine whether they are properly taxable and if so, in what amount.

Originally, Defendants sought an award for the following costs (Doc. 183):

Court reporter/transcript fees$67,599.69 Witness fees$440.00 Exemplification/copying fees$8,100.00 Other costs$4,486.12 Total Costs$80,625.81

Defendants have now amended their request to seek an award for the following costs (Doc. 186):

Court reporter/transcript fees$47,431.53 Witness fees$440.00 Exemplification/copying fees$8,100.00 Other costs$4,011.73 Total Costs$59,983.26

Reviewing Plaintiff's objections with Defendants' amended request for taxable costs, the Parties are in agreement as to the $440.00 sought for witness fees and the $4,011.73 sought for "other costs." What remains in dispute is the amount Defendants seek for court reporter/transcript fees as well as the exemplification/copying fees.

1. Court Reporter/Transcript Fees

The Parties actually agree on the amount of $23,280.78 that should be taxed for court reporter fees. In fact, this amount is the maximum Plaintiff believes should be taxed regarding any fees for court reporters and deposition transcripts. Defendants, on the other hand, also seek to have their costs for obtaining expedited transcripts for three of Plaintiff's expert witnesses, in the amount of $1,540.00. In addition, Defendants seek costs in the amount of $22,610.75 incurred for videotaping their depositions.

a. Expedited Transcripts

Defendants have agreed to limit their request for costs for expedited deposition transcripts to only the depositions of three of Plaintiff's experts: Dr. Batich, Dr. Denardo and Dr. Sojka, totaling $1,540.00 (Doc. 199, p. 4). Defendants explain the need for the expedited processing and delivery fees for these particular depositions were because they occurred within one week of the close of expert discovery and shortly before the due date for all dispositive motions and their reply in support of their motion for summary judgment of noninfringement (Id.). Thus, their time to review the transcripts if they had not been expedited would have been limited (Id.). Although ordinarily expedited costs are not taxable, when it becomes necessary due to the discovery deadlines and the Parties' actions in the course of litigation, a court may allow reimbursement. The Court find Defendants' reason for requiring the expedited processing and delivery to be ...


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