Pentchelov v. HHS, (Fed. Cl. Spec. Mstr. April 29, 2016) (Corcoran, SM)
The Court approved a $400 hourly rate for a 40-year attorney from Beverly Hills, ($350-$425 McCulloch range). The Court cited a previous decision holding that LA area attorneys were entitled to “forum” rates in the program. The court awarded $235 per hour, rather than the $250 requested, ($150-225 McCulloch range), for a 2-year associate, who had additional years as a law clerk at her firm working on vaccine cases. A paralegal/former attorney was awarded $145, although McCulloch provided that the highest paralegal rate was $135.
With respect to expert rates, the court awarded $500 for Dr. Steinman, which had already been awarded that rate in other cases, as well as the requested rates for a hematologist ($475) and an expert in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics ($393). The court did reduce one of the expert’s costs by 30% where he spent more than 100 hours in 2 reports.