Two recent decisions underscore the court's duty to fully scrutinize the reasonableness of a fee request. In Best Med. Int'l, Inc. v. Eckert & Ziegler Nuclitec GmbH, 11-2089, 2013 WL 221968 (4th Cir. Jan. 22, 2013), the district court awarded fees in the amount sought by applicant, finding the amount requested was reasonable. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit remanded, stating that a more detailed analysis of the fee request was required:
[A]s to the amount of EZN's attorneys' fees and costs, which which we conclude might be unreasonably excessive in the absence of an analysis based on the applicable factors identified in Johnson v. City of Aiken, 278 F .3d 333 (4th Cir.2002), we remand for a further analysis that takes into account the applicable Johnson factors. While the district court did generally recognize the Johnson factors, it applied the factors in only the most conclusory manner, stating, "Taking the Johnson factors into account, the Court finds the hours expended and the rates billed to be reasonable."
[This above case was not selected for publication in the Federal Reporter. Not for Publication in West's Federal Reporter See Fed. Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1 generally governing citation of judicial decisions issued on or after Jan. 1, 2007. See also Fourth Circuit Rule 32.1 (Find CTA4 Rule 32.1)]
In similar fashion, the Ninth Circuit recently remanded a district court reduction of an attorney fee claim, on the basis that the lower court had not provided a detailed explanation or computation of the reasons for the reduction. In Padgett v. Loventhal, 706 F.3d 1205, 1207-08 (9th Cir. 2013), Padgett requested attorneys' fees of $3.2 million, and costs of $900,000. The district court awarded $500,000 in fees and $100,000 in costs, stating that it had "considered factors relevant to determining the reasonableness of attorney['s] fees." Padgett, 706 F.3d at 1207. The Ninth Circuit remanded, stating:
Because the district court did not explain how it determined that $500,000 in fees and $100,000 in costs was appropriate or why it denied costs to the prevailing defendants, we are unable to review the court's reasoning. Therefore, we vacate *1208 and remand for a more complete explanation. ... We have long held that district courts must show their work when calculating attorney's fees.
James King's trial testimony as a legal expert has been praised by juries and judges for his unique ability to distill complex legal issues into understandable concepts. A graduate of Stanford Law School (Order of the Coif, Law Review), Mr. King has consistently qualified as an expert whenever his testimony has been offered. His 30+ years of experience and knowledge are reflected in his assignments: he has supervised and coordinated billion dollar litigation and has arbitrated or testified in over 250 legal fee and malpractice claims (with hundreds of millions of dollars at issue). Superior Court Judges have chosen Mr. King to work confidentially with them as a Special Master in a number of serious criminal cases, including homicide and judicial bribery. He has testified extensively in Federal and State Courts, and also has appeared as an expert before the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the High Court of Kenya.
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