Court Awards NACBA Member $119, 952.24 in Fees and Expenses in Defending Against Portfolio Recovery Associates’ Appeal of Order Sanctioning It

Court Awards NACBA Member $119, 952.24 in Fees and Expenses in Defending Against Portfolio Recovery Associates’ Appeal of Order Sanctioning It

Pending before this Court is Plaintiff’s Application for Compensation and Reimbursement of Expenses Relating to Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions. The Application stems from this Court’s November 24, 2015 Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions against Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (”PRA”). ECF Nos. 158, 159. This Court ordered, inter alia, that PRA ”pay the reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred [by Plaintiff’s Counsel, Kellett & Bartholow PLLC (”Applicant”)] in preparing” the Motion for Sanctions. In regard to this Court’s Order, Applicant ultimately seeks $176, 967.50 in fees and $2, 023.41 in reimbursable expenses for a total amount of $178, 990.91. PRA vehemently opposes an award of $178, 990.91 in attorney’s fees to Applicant and suggests that Applicant be awarded $15, 498.80. This Court considers the pleadings filed, the evidence presented, the United States Bankruptcy Code, and all relevant case law to determine whether the Applicant is entitled to all of the fees and expenses requested in the Application.

On September 24, 2014, Plaintiff filed his Motion for Sanctions. ECF No. 54 (”Sanctions Motion”). On August 4, 2015, the Court took up the Sanctions Motion and ordered briefing on the Mejia exhibits[2] issue due to PRA’s objection to the admissibility of the exhibits and ordered the parties to file proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. On November 24, 2015, the Court issued its Third Memorandum Opinion and accompanying order (”Sanctions Order”) granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff’s Sanctions Motion, which included the requested relief of deeming certain facts as established against PRA, precluding PRA from offering certain testimony, and awarding Plaintiff reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. ECF Nos. 158, 159 (granting six of Plaintiff’s requests for sanctions and denying four of Plaintiff’s requests for sanctions).

On December 8, 2015, PRA filed its notice of appeal of the Third Memorandum Opinion and Sanctions Order and Motion for Leave to Appeal (”Motion for Leave”). ECF Nos. 162, 163. On January 6, 2016, Plaintiff filed his designation of the record on appeal. ECF No. 169. On January 13, 2016, Plaintiff prepared and filed an Agreed Motion to Abate.[3] ECF No. 171. On September 1, 2016, the United States District Court issued its order denying PRA’s Motion for Leave on the basis that this Court’s Sanctions Order was an interlocutory order and therefore was not subject to appeal.

On February 15, 2017, Plaintiff filed the Application and initially requested a total of $144, 753.91 in fees and expenses for Applicant’s work on the Motion for Sanctions. ECF No. 194 at 21. On March 8, 2017, PRA filed a response to Plaintiff’s Application for Compensation and Reimbursement of Expenses Relating to Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions. ECF No. 195 (”Response”).

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