Plaintiff Bear Republic Brewing Co. (“Bear Republic”) applied for an award of attorneys’ fees following the Court’s finding that Central City Brewing Co. (“Central”) violated the terms of the parties’ settlement agreement. Magistrate Judge Collings entered judgment, which included attorneys’ fees in the amount of $68,471.50 and costs in the amount of $1,326.51.
There was no dispute that Bear Republic was entitled to some amount of attorneys’ fees and costs following the Court’s order finding Central in breach of the parties’ settlement. But the parties did dispute the amount of those fees and costs. As an initial matter, Central contended that, because it sought to settle the matter before the motion for contempt was brought, Bear Republic should be precluded from recovering fees and costs after the date of the settlement offer. The Court disagreed. It noted that Bear Republic rejected the settlement offer because Central would not reimburse Bear Republic for some of its fees. In these circumstances, the Court found that “Bear Republic was not unreasonable in refusing the offer of settlement without some payment for its attorneys’ fees.” The Court also found that the staffing of two partners on the matter was reasonable and that the time spent on preparing both the contempt motion and the attorneys’ fees application was generally reasonable. The Court, however, did reduce the rate of one Boston attorney from $835 to $800 per hour even though the quality of the evidence on the issue of a reasonable rate was “less than desirable.”