Farley v. Eaton Corp., 090517 FED6, 16-3893

Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Judge Panel:Before: MERRITT, BATCHELDER, and CLAY, Circuit Judges.
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:WILLIAM FARLEY, Petitioner-Appellant, v. EATON CORPORATION, Respondent-Appellee.
Case Date:September 05, 2017
Docket Nº:16-3893
 
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WILLIAM FARLEY, Petitioner-Appellant,

v.

EATON CORPORATION, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 16-3893

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

September 5, 2017

         NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION

         ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO

          Before: MERRITT, BATCHELDER, and CLAY, Circuit Judges.

          PER CURIAM.

         Eaton Corporation, as the prevailing party in our recent decision affirming the district court's affirmation of an arbitrator's final award, Farley v. Eaton Corp., No. 16-3893, 2017 WL 3084417 (6th Cir. July 20, 2017), has moved for an award of attorney fees and costs pursuant to the Amended and Restated Payment Procedures Agreement between the parties.1 Eaton seeks $104, 158.84 for its fees and costs incurred solely to litigate the appeal in our court.2 The fee request for 331.1 hours breaks down as follows: (1) 78.1 hours at $600 per hour for partner Vincent Atriano; (2) 243.6 hours at $225 per hour for associate Reed Sirak; and (3) 9.4 hours at $165 per hour for legal assistant Alexis Black.

         Attorney fees are generally not recoverable as costs or damages unless expressly allowed by statute, court rule, contract, or a common-law exception. However, contractual provisions obligating the losing party to pay reasonable attorney fees are generally valid and judicially enforceable under the same standard as other contractual provisions. Because Eaton has shown that it is entitled to an award of attorney fees pursuant to the Amended and Restated Payment Procedures Agreement, we must determine whether the requested fees are reasonable. See Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 437 (1983) (prevailing party has burden of proving reasonableness of fees). Farley opposes the motion primarily on the ground that the fees requested are unreasonable because they are excessive and duplicative. Farley does not contest that Eaton is the prevailing party, and he does not contend that the hourly rates for the billing attorneys and legal staff are excessive.

         We begin by noting that out of a total of 331 hours billed by Eaton's attorneys for the appeal, 61.3 hours, or approximately 20%, were spent preparing the motion for ...

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