Objecting to Discovery Requests: Re: Fee Contract

David A. Szwak

Objecting to Discovery Requests: Re: Fee Contract

Postby David A. Szwak » Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:29 pm

As to the request for plaintiff’s attorney contract, Plaintiff objects: irrelevant, immaterial, and calls for disclosure of privileged information. Uinta Oil Refining Co. v. Continental Oil Co., 226 F.Supp. 495 [U.S.D.C. Utah 1964]; Sargeant v. Sharp, 579 F.2d 645, 649 [1st Cir.1978] [a fee agreement is irrelevant to the issue of entitlement and should not enter into the determination of the amount of a reasonable fee award]. Further, calculation of attorney’s fees outside of the scope of discovery and not calculated to lead to admissible evidence, since fee award must be based on lodestar [marketplace] rates. This is a fee shifting case; fees and costs will be sought by petition or agreement under usual fee-shifting standards. Under these standards, the party's agreement with his/her lawyers may not be considered as a floor, standard, or ceiling. Blanchard v. Bergeron, 489 U.S. 87, 93 [1989]; Venegas v. Mitchell, 110 S.Ct. 1679 [1990]; City of Burlington v. Dague, 112 S.Ct. 2638 [1992]; Amherst Leasing Corp. v. Emhart Corp., 65 F.R.D. 121, 126 [U.S.D.C. Conn. 1974] [motion to compel fee agreement denied]; Stahler v. Jamesway Corp., 85 F.R.D. 85, 86 [U.S.D.C. E.D. Pa. 1979] [fee agreement not discoverable]; Sanderson v. Winner, 507 F.2d 477 [10th Cir. 1974]. Premature; not applicable unless and until plaintiff prevails [Rule 54] at which time a detailed fee application must be submitted; burdensome: Time records continue to accrue, work product privilege. Subject to those objections, plaintiff responds: Plaintiff has a contract with her attorney.

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