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Conway v. Licata

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

November 6, 2015

ANDREW CONWAY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
SAM LICATA, et al., Defendants

Page 213

          For Andrew Conway, Liana Conway, doing business as Zeke the Zebra, Plaintiffs: Jeffrey S. Baker, LEAD ATTORNEY, Baker & Associates, Boston, MA; Patrick M. Groulx, Golman LLP, Boston, MA.

         For Sam Licata, also known as Phoenix Stone, Sybil Hall, also known as Sybil Licata, Stonehall Entertainment, LLC, A California Limited Liability Company, Stonehall Merchandise, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Stonehall Music Publishing, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Stonehall Records, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Stonehall Television, LLC, A California Limited Liability Company, Stonehall Touring, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Defendants: Daryl DeValerio Andrews, Glen DeValerio, Marie Foley Watson, Berman DeValerio, Boston, MA; Nathaniel L. Orenstein, Norman Berman, Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo, Boston, MA.

         For Sybil Hall, Stonehall Television, LLC, A California Limited Liability Company, Stonehall Entertainment, LLC, A California Limited Liability Company, Stonehall Music Publishing, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Stonehall Touring, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Stonehall Merchandise, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Sam Licata, Stonehall Records, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Counter Claimants: Daryl DeValerio Andrews, Glen DeValerio, Marie Foley Watson, Berman DeValerio, Boston, MA; Nathaniel L. Orenstein, Norman Berman, Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo, Boston, MA.

         For Andrew Conway, Liana Conway, Counter Defendants: Jeffrey S. Baker, LEAD ATTORNEY, Baker & Associates, Boston, MA; Patrick M. Groulx, Golman LLP, Boston, MA.

         For Stonehall Television, LLC, A California Limited Liability Company, Stonehall Entertainment, LLC, A California Limited Liability Company, Counter Claimants: Daryl DeValerio Andrews, Glen DeValerio, Marie Foley Watson, Berman DeValerio, Boston, MA; Norman Berman, Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo, Boston, MA.

         For Sybil Hall, Counter Claimant: Daryl DeValerio Andrews, Glen DeValerio, Marie Foley Watson, Berman DeValerio, Boston, MA.

Page 214

          ORDER ON MOTION FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES, BILL OF COSTS, AND MOTION TO ALTER JUDGMENT

         Leo T. Sorokin, United States District Judge.

         Following a jury trial and the Court's order on claims reserved for its decision, the Plaintiffs, Andrew Conway and Liana Conway, filed the three motions now before the Court. Specifically, the Plaintiffs have moved for attorney's fees and costs (Doc. No. 344), have submitted a bill of costs (Doc. No. 351), and have moved to alter the judgment to assess prejudgment interest (Doc. No. 352). The Defendants oppose each motion. Doc. No. 353, 354, 355.[1] For the reasons that follow, the Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs (Doc. No. 344) is DENIED, the Bill of Costs (Doc. No. 351) is ALLOWED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, and the Motion to Alter the Judgment to Assess Prejudgment Interest (Doc. No. 352) is ALLOWED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         I. LEGAL STANDARD

         In a copyright infringement action, " the court in its discretion may allow the recovery of full costs by or against any party" and " may also award a reasonable attorney's fee to the prevailing party as part of the costs." 17 U.S.C. § 505. Under § 505, " [p]revailing plaintiffs and prevailing defendants are to be treated alike, but attorney's fees are to be awarded to prevailing parties only as a matter of the court's discretion." Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc., 510 U.S. 517, 534, 114 S.Ct. 1023, 127 L.Ed.2d 455 (1994) (emphasis added). The Court need not follow a " precise rule or

Page 215

formula for making these determinations." Id. (quoting Hensley v. Eckerhart,461 U.S. 424, 436-37, 103 S.Ct. 1933, 76 L.Ed.2d 40 (1983)). However, the Court should exercise its discretion to award attorney's fees in light of certain factors, including " frivolousness, motivation, objective unreasonableness (both in the factual and in the legal components of the case) and the need in particular circumstances to advance considerations of compensation and deterrence." Fogerty, 510 U.S. at 534 n.19 (quoting Lieb v. Topstone Indus., Inc.,788 F.2d 151, 156 (3rd Cir. 1986)). Accord Airframe Sys., Inc. v. L-3 Commc'ns Corp.,658 F.3d 100, 108 (1st Cir. 2011). Pursuant to First Circuit law, a " showing of frivolity or bad faith is not required; rather, the prevailing party need only show that its opponent's copyright claims or defenses were 'objectively weak.'" Latin Am. Music Co. v. Am. Soc'y of Composers Authors & Publishers,629 F.3d 262, 263 (1st Cir. 2010) (quoting Garcia-Goyco v. Law Envtl. Consultants, Inc.,428 F.3d 14, 20 (1st Cir. 2005)). Underpinning any award of attorney's fees, however, is " the goal of ...


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