This is an interesting appeal from the award of attorneys' fees in a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The parties settled in an agreement that provided that, in exchange for general release and compliance with its terms and conditions, Sushi Maru Express will pay $52,324.25 to Seong Soo Ham, and $32,676.75 to Eun Yong Lee. The parties agreed that attorneys' fees and costs would be determined separately.
The magistrate judge surveyed the Eastern District of New York ("E.D.N.Y.") and determined that the rates requested by the primary attorneys "exceeded the hourly rates normally approved in this district for comparable professionals in federal wage cases." The magistrate judge found that partners and experienced attorneys are typically awarded between $300 and $400 per hour, and junior associates between $100 and $150 per hour in wage cases.
The case reached a settlement within ten months and featured no motion practice and limited discovery. Plaintiffs' attorneys stated that they expended over 449 hours of work. The magistrate judge held that these hours expended are unreasonable, and the district court agreed.
Here is the Report and Recommendation (opens in new window).
The attorneys filed an appeal to the Second Circuit.