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Baker v. Ghidotti

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 5, 2017

KENNETH BAKER, BARBARA BAKER, CAMDEN BAKER, and A. B., Minor, by Parent BARBARA BAKER, Plaintiff,
v.
TIMOTHY M. GHIDOTTI, BORIS JURKOVIC, RELIABLE RECOVERY SERVICES, INC., JEAN M. LINDGREN, JESUS VERA, STEVEN MARTIN, JUAN M. CABRALES, DENNIS P. WALSH, MICHAEL A. FLORES, UNKNOWN OFFICERS OF THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT, and CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendants.

          Irene K. Dymkar Irene K. Dymkar Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Attorneys for Plaintiff: Irene K. Dymkar Daniel H. Regenscheit Shamoyita M. DasGupta

          PLAINTIFF'S FEE PETITION FOR JUDGMENT OF APPELLATE AND POST-TRIAL ATTORNEY FEES

          HARRY D. LEINENWEBER JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Kenneth Baker, by and through his attorneys, Irene K. Dymkar, Torreya L.

         Hamilton, Daniel H. Regenscheit, and Shamoyita M. DasGupta, hereby petitions the Court for an order granting appellate and post-trial attorneys' fees in the amount of $130, 501.50, and submits the following memorandum in support thereof:

         I. Introduction

         This matter proceeded to jury trial and judgment was entered on October 24, 2014. Doc. 216. Plaintiffs filed a petition for attorneys' fees and costs, and the Court rendered its memorandum opinion and order on April 24, 2015. Doc. 250. Plaintiffs appealed said decision on attorneys' fees and costs in a case entitled Baker v. Ghidotti, Seventh Circuit 15-2203, and the Seventh Circuit rendered its decision on June 1, 2017, remanding the case back to the district court for further proceedings. Doc. 275 (certified copy of opinion).

         II. Agreed judgment for trial attorney fees

         Plaintiffs made all the necessary calculations and negotiated with defense counsel an agreed judgment that includes the district court's original fee judgment, the additional fees awarded by the Seventh Circuit, and interest. The parties filed a joint stipulation (Doc. 279), and the Court signed the parties' proposed agreed order of judgment for trial attorney fees in the amount of $184, 033.25. Doc. 283.

         III. Fee petition for appellate and post-trial attorney fees

         The law in this Circuit is very clear that when a party prevails in a civil rights appeal as plaintiff did here, the prevailing attorneys are entitled to recover their reasonable lodestar for the services they provided. Plaintiff therefore asks the Court to award the lodestar of $130, 501.50, as computed herein.

         A. Legal standard for adjudicating plaintiff's' fee petition for appellate and post-trial legal work

         Courts in this district have acknowledged that “[a]s tempting as it may be to say, ‘enough already'” to fee petitions, a plaintiffs' successful appeal encourages attorneys to pursue valid civil rights cases. Pickett v Sheridan, 07 C 17222, Doc. 240 at 6 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 13, 2014) (Shah, J.).

         Even in cases of mixed judgment “plaintiffs may be considered prevailing parties for attorney's fees purposes if they succeed on any significant issue in litigation which achieves some of the benefit the parties sought in bringing suit.” Thorncreek Apartments I, LLC v. Vill. of Park Forest,123 F.Supp.3d 1012, 1017 (N.D. Ill. 2015) (Feinerman, J.), quoting Family PACv. Ferguson, 745 F.3d 1261, 1268 (9th Cir. 2014); see Wells v. City of Chicago, 925 F.Supp.2d 1036, ...


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