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Erich Specht, et al v. Google

June 27, 2011

ERICH SPECHT, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GOOGLE, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the Court is Defendant Google Inc.'s (hereinafter, the "Defendant") Bill of Costs. For the reasons stated herein, the Bill of Costs is granted in part and denied in part. Plaintiffs Erich Specht, Android Data Corporation, and The Android's Dungeon, Inc. (hereinafter, the "Plaintiffs") are liable to Defendant for $19,063.65 in costs.

I. INTRODUCTION

On March 11, 2011, the Court entered judgment in favor of Defendant. This occurred after Defendant, in an oral motion, dismissed without prejudice Counts II, IV, V, VI, and VII of its Counterclaim. The Court had previously granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant on Counts I--V of Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint, and Counts I and III of Defendant's Counterclaim. Defendant has submitted a Bill of Costs, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) and Local Rule 54.1, which allow for recovery of the litigation costs specified in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Plaintiffs object to most of the submitted costs. The Court must determine if § 1920 permits Defendant's claimed expenses, and if they are reasonable and necessary. See Deimer v. Cincinnati Sub-Zero Prods., Inc., 58 F.3d 341, 345 (7th Cir. 1995).

II. ANALYSIS

A. Transcripts, Videos, and Court Reporter Fees

Under Local Rule 54.1, if a prevailing party obtains a transcript for a use necessary in a case, it may recover the full cost of the transcript as long as the cost does not exceed the regular copy rate established by the Judicial Conference of the United States at the time of the hearing or deposition. N.D. Ill. R. 54.1(b). The maximum rate allowed during this case was $3.65 per page. See Maximum Transcript Rates, http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/CLERKS_OFFICE/CrtReporter/trnscrpt .htm (last visited June 15, 2011). Defendant seeks a total of $20,879.70 in transcript and court reporter fees, which includes fees for video depositions. As an initial matter, based on the affidavit from Defendant's attorney Cameron Nelson and the Court's familiarity with this case, the Court finds that the transcripts and videos were necessary for this litigation.

The Court first addresses the transcripts from court hearings that Defendant claims as taxable. All but four of these transcripts were ordered on an expedited, daily, or 14-day basis, and cost more than $3.65 per page. Defendant, however, has not set forth a convincing reason why it needed expedited transcripts. Accordingly, the page rate of the expedited transcripts will be reduced to $3.65 per page. See Nance v. City of Elgin, No. 06-C-6608, 2011 WL 1750885, at *2 (N.D. Ill. May 3, 2011). In addition, Defendant seeks reimbursement for duplicate copies of some transcripts, but costs for such copies are generally not recoverable. See Telular Corp. v. Mentor Graphics Corp., No. 01-C-431, 2006 WL 1722375, at *3 (N.D. Ill. June 16, 2006). Recovery for the court proceeding transcripts will be reduced as follows:

2/17/2009 $69.00 $43.80 6/4/2009 $111.20 $58.40 8/18/ & 9/3/2009 $43.80 $43.80 10/13/2009 $3.60 $3.60 12/3/ & 12/17/2009 $100.10 $80.30 2/23/2010 $109.25 $69.35 3/24/2010 $41.20 $29.20 4/22/2010 $57.50 $36.50 5/11/2010 $57.50 $36.50 5/27/2010 $166.75 $83.95 6/17/2010 $40.25 $25.55 7/20/2010 $149.60 $58.40 7/27/2010 $132.25 $83.95 8/24/2010 $23.00 $14.40 9/30/2010 $45.50 $36.50 10/14/2010 $41.20 $29.20 In sum, Defendant can recover $733.40 in costs for court proceeding transcripts.

Hearing Date Costs Sought Costs Allowable

The Court next turns to the costs for deposition and voice mail transcripts. Here, Defendant again seeks recovery for expedited transcript fees, but does not provide convincing reasons why such expedited transcripts were necessary. Defendant also seeks court reporter attendance fees, which are allowable, as long as the fees are reasonable. See Menasha Corp. v. News Am. Mktg. Instore, Inc., No. 00-C-1895, 2003 WL 21788989, at *2 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2003)(finding a $60 hourly rate to be reasonable). Recovery for the deposition transcripts and associated court reporter fees is as follows:

Robblee: 11/5/2009 $1,297.50 $1,297.50

Sears: 11/6/2009 $499.10 $499.10

M. Murphy: 4/8/2010 $1,890.40 ...


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