Fair Hous. Ctr. of S.W. Mich. V. Hunt, No. 1:09-cv-593, 2013 WL 5719152 (W.D. Mich. Oct. 21, 2013)

Key Insight: Ruling on plaintiffs? motion for taxation of attorney?s fees and costs, magistrate judge concluded that, although plaintiffs? counsel was entitled to award of fees, fee request was unreasonable in part because the hours devoted to the case were excessive; magistrate judge harshly criticized counsel?s ?unreasonable zeal? and ?single-minded focus? on discovery of ESI: ?The level of effort expended by plaintiffs? counsel to track down the last responsive e-mail . . . was not reasonable in this case. It appeared to this court on more than one occasion that plaintiffs were treating the case as a litigation workshop on discovery of ESI rather than a lawsuit. This case did not involve discovery of patent records contained in Ford Motor Company?s super-computers. Rather, the subject matter of the litigation was an apartment complex in Kalamazoo, run by a marginally competent apartment manager who used a desktop and a laptop. He was often in over his head, especially with regard to record-keeping and computer use. Ninety-nine out of 100 lawyers would never consider making this case the occasion for extensive discovery of electronic evidence. And no client paying his or her own bills would ever authorize such an expensive hunt for marginal evidence.?

Nature of Case: Housing discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: ESI, email

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