Mostovoy v. HHS, (Fed. Cl. Spec. Mstr. Feb. 4, 2016) (Dorsey, CSM)

In this omnibus proceeding, the court awarded the highest hourly rate requested, under McCulloch. However, petitioner’s interim fees were reduced by about 1/3. The Court held there were four basic reasons for the reductions. First, counsel billed for multiple hours of administrative work, including filing documents on CM/ECF, mailing letters, and scheduling phone calls. Second, counsel’s time sheets were extremely vague and in some instances constituted block billing. Additionally, counsel failed to adequately explain how some of his billable hours were relevant. Third, counsel billed time for multiple hours spent fundraising, and many of the entries were so vague that the Court could not understand their purpose. Finally, counsel requested compensation at his full hourly rate of pay for time spent traveling.

This is an example of billing deemed inadequate as vague, excessive and block billing:
“March 12 (“[r]eview theory and statements w/ TD”; April 6 (“[c]ontinue research on motion reply”); April 9 (“[m]otion reply”); April 10 (“[c]ontinue drafting reply”); April 10 (“[c]ontinue reply research, articles history”); April 10 (“[c]ontinue reply research”); April 10 (“[m]otion”); April 11 (“[m]otion, obtain articles cited in articles and drafting”); April 16 (“[r]eview file-orders (HS)”); May 14 (“[r]esearch on safety testing done”); May 14 (“[r]eview 5/16/2001 minutes”); May 14 (“[m]otion to allow subpoenas reply”); July 11 (“[c]ontinue reply); July 11 (“[r]eply to reply”); July 12 (“[e]dit reply draft”); July 13 (“[e]dit reply”); July 13 (“[r]eply on motion to compel”); October 1 (“Mostovoy-Penzi Deisher dec. [sic] Varacella [sic] stats”); November 2 (“[m]otion to supplement the record motion [sic]”); November 3 (“[m]otion to supplement the record”); November 8 (“[r]eview powerpoint; obtain literature”); and November 8 (“[r]eview graph and data”).”

Vaccine Case Reviews Interim Fees – Hourly Rates, Block Billing, Billing Specificity; Travel Time