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Dennis v. Gocom Media of Illinois, LLC

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

January 15, 2014

GERALDINE DENNIS, Plaintiff,
v.
GOCOM MEDIA OF ILLINOIS, LLC, Defendant.

OPINION

RICHARD MILLS, District Judge.

Pending before the Court is the Plaintiff's Motion for an Award of Attorney's Fees and Costs.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Geraldine Dennis filed suit against Defendant GOCOM Media of Illinois, LLC. The Plaintiff's Amended Complaint asserted three violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, based on gender discrimination, see 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2, and retaliation, see 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a).

Following the Defendant's Answer, the parties filed a Joint Motion for Referral to Mediation with the Court. The parties were referred to United States Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore for the purposes of mediation.

The parties participated in a mediation session facilitated by Judge Cudmore. They engaged in cooperative negotiation in an attempt to reach agreement and avoid litigation. Eventually, the Defendant offered to settle the matter for $70, 000. The Defendant informed the Plaintiff that if this sum was not accepted, an Offer of Judgment under Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure would be entered immediately thereafter in that proposed amount. The Plaintiff refused the offer. The docket reflects that the mediation ended without success.

Consistent with its promise, the Defendant filed an Offer of Judgment, which was accepted by the Plaintiff.[1] See Doc. Nos. 16 & 17.

The Offer stated:

NOW COMES Defendant, GOCOM Media OF Illinois LLC, by and through its attorneys, Brown, Hay & Stephens, LLP, pursuant to Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Fed. R. Civ. P. 68), and submits to Plaintiff Geraldine Dennis an Offer of Judgment in the amount of $70, 000, with costs accrued.

Following the Plaintiff's acceptance of the Offer of Judgment, the Court entered an Order which stated:

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68(a), the Clerk of Court is directed to enter judgment in favor of Plaintiff Geraldine Dennis and against Defendant GOCOM Media of Illinois LLC in the amount of $70, 000, with costs accrued.

See Doc. No. 18. Judgment was entered pursuant to the Order. See Doc. No. 19. The Defendant states that Plaintiffs' Counsel requested that payment be made to the Plaintiff and Plaintiff's Counsel's firm. Accordingly, the check was made payable to Geraldine Dennis and the firm of Baker, Baker & Krajewski, LLC.

Subsequently, the Plaintiff moved for an award of ...


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