United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS
DENNIS SAYLOR IV UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Stephen Ellicott brought this action against his former
employer, American Capital Energy, Inc. (“ACE”),
and its two principals, Thomas Hunton and Arthur Hennessey,
seeking compensation for unpaid wages. The complaint brought
two counts under state law, alleging a violation of the
Massachusetts Wage Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 148,
and breach of contract. On February 6, 2017, following a jury
trial, the Court issued a judgment in favor of plaintiff on
both counts. Plaintiff has moved for attorneys' fees and
costs pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 150. For
the following reasons, plaintiff's motion will be granted
in part and denied in part.
a solar-energy company that sells large-scale solar energy
projects to commercial clients. Ellicott is a former sales
employee at ACE. Thomas Hunton and Arthur Hennessey are
principals of ACE.
April 2, 2014, Ellicott brought this action seeking
compensation for unpaid commissions. The complaint alleged
two counts under Massachusetts state law, claiming a
violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch.
149, § 148, and breach of contract.
Ellicott brought the complaint, he was represented by
attorneys Mark Pogue and Nathanael Nichols of the law firm
Locke Lord LLP. Those attorneys withdrew from the case on
April 10, 2015. They were replaced by two partners at the law
firm Kenney & Sams, P.C., Christopher Kenney and Anthony
months following that change of counsel, Ellicott litigated
this action vigorously. He brought a motion to amend the
complaint, a motion for summary judgment, a motion for a
real-estate attachment and a reach-and-apply injunction, a
motion for injunctive relief, a motion for a preliminary
injunction, and multiple motions in limine, as well
as opposed multiple motions by defendants.
January 2017, the case was tried to a jury. The jury returned
a verdict in Ellicott's favor, finding defendants liable
under both counts. The jury further found that Ellicott was
owed $958, 830 in lost wages. Those damages were trebled
pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 150 for a total
award of $2, 876, 490 under the Massachusetts Wage Act.
has moved for an award of reasonable attorneys' fees and
costs pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 150.
Reasonable Attorneys' Fees
requests attorneys' fees for 1, 317.4 hours of work at a
total charge of $487, 150.
time was billed by three attorneys at Kenney & Sams,
P.C., two of whom are partners (Kenney and DeProspo) and one
of whom is an associate (Jaimeson E. Porter).
Standard for Calculating Reasonable Attorneys'
plaintiff who prevails on a Wage Act claim is entitled to a
mandatory award of “reasonable attorneys'
fees.” Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 150; see
also Lipsitt v. Plaud, 466 Mass. 240, 250 (2013). Both
the First Circuit and Massachusetts courts generally follow
the so-called “lodestar” method for evaluating
the reasonableness of a fee application. See Tennessee
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