Collins v. NYS Dept. of Corrections and Community Services

Attorney Fees

New York Law Journal

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Judge Glenn Suddaby

Collins prevailed on her Title VII and state Human Rights Law hostile work environment claims against New York's Department of Corrections and Community Services (DOCCS). District court partly granted and partly denied her motion seeking an award of $286,176 in legal fees, $14,108 in paralegal fees, $18,084 in expert fees, and $14,249 in costs. The court awarded Collins legal fees of $252,326—under specified time and rate formulas—noting that counsel had already "written off" as "courtesy reductions" $17,867 in fees when it billed her so as to account for possibly redundant time and inefficiencies. However, it found Collins' proposed hourly rate for counsel's paralegal services unreasonable, and reduced them to reflect the reasonable $80 hourly fee for paralegals within the district. Agreeing with DOCCS, the court reduced Collins' proposed expert fee award from $18,084 to $9,042, considering her limited success in achieving an award of damages relative to her expert's testimony in that regard. In awarding Collins $13,493 in costs, the court noted a $755 mathematical error in their calculation.

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