cases, commentary and news related to restrictive covenants
Monday, March 22, 2010
Defendant Finally Obtains Fee Award in Trade Secrets Claim (Precision Automation, Inc. v. Krevanko)
I wrote last year about an Oregon case where the defendant not only prevailed but also obtained a finding that the trade secrets case brought against him was conducted in "bad faith", the fee-shifting standard generally found in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
Nearly a year later, the defendant finally obtained the amount of his fee award: $129,432.15.
The amount awarded by the court is less than the $202,000 sought by Krevanko, which is not surprising. Courts generally are apt to reduce fee petitions by some amount. However, the defendant appeared to get most of what he requested. The bulk of the excluded fees dealt with parsing out deposition time that involved separate trademark and patent claims in the lawsuit.
I won't try and summarize the court's fee petition decision; there is no area of the law more dull and uninspiring than fee petitions. About the only real noteworthy take-away from the opinion dealt with the court's refusal to approve certain time entries for multiple attorneys who attended the same hearing or deposition. Fee petitions can appear heavy when firms double- and triple-staff cases. Other than evidentiary hearings and trials, it is difficult to recover fees for two or more lawyers covering the same matter. This case provides some precedent for parties defending fee petitions to try and excise more than one time entry for the same work.
Court: United States District Court for the District of Oregon
Opinion Date: 2/16/10
Cite: Precision Automation, Inc. v. TigerStop, LLC, et al., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25394 (D. Or. Feb. 16, 2010)
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Interesting case. The United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion touching upon similar subject matter a few days ago: BDT Products v. Lexmark International. The 6th Circuit considered whether a district court could sanction a law firm that brought a trade secrets claim subsequently found to be meritless. Link to the opinion is as follows: http://www.clelaw.lib.oh.us/public/DECISION/CTA6/042110.html.ReplyDelete
Keep up the good blogging, Ken.