UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
DWIGHT GRIFFIN CASE NO. 91-60868
This matter is before the Court upon the First Interim Application for Payment of Reasonable Compensation and Reimbursement of Necessary Expenses to Dwight Griffin's Attorneys (herein "application") filed herein on June 22, 1992. Creditors Henry Owens, Jerry Cox and Vicki Cox filed their Objection to Fee Application and Motion for Extension of Time to Object to Fee Application on July 13, 1992 and their Amended and Supplemental Objection to Fee Application on August 31, 1992 (collectively, the "objection").
This matter was filed as a Chapter 11 proceeding on December 2, 1991. After some sparring between the objectors and debtor, it was converted to a proceeding under Chapter 7 upon motion of the debtor filed August 31, 1992. The objection does not question the fact of the rendering of the services as set out in the application, nor does it question the experience, competence or ability of the applicant. The objections herein are that the fees are not warranted in light of the conversion of the case to a Chapter 7 proceeding and that the allowance of the fees requested would consume an unduly large part of the estate herein.
The matter was heard by the Court and counsel for both parties were most forthcoming with the Court in acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of their positions.
The Court is required to use the "lodestar" approach when determining an award of attorney's fees. In re Boddy, 950 F.2d 334 (6th Cir. 1991). This approach requires the Court to consider various factors in arriving at a reasonable hourly rate and a reasonable number of hours for the services performed. A review of the lodestar factors and the briefs of the parties herein leads the Court to conclude that it should strongly consider the results obtained since the objectors do not challenge the abilities of debtor's counsel or quantity of representation involved.
A review of the results herein suggest to the Court that a fee award of $11,000 would be reasonable under the circumstances. The Court arrives at this amount by multiplying the reasonable hourly rate of the primary attorney for debtor, Solomon Van Meter, $110, by the reasonable number of hours which the Court finds could accomplish the tasks in this matter, 100 hours. It appears that this amount should be reduced by the sum of $2,172.38 held as a retainer by the debtor's attorneys yielding an amount due of $8,827.62. It further appears that the application should be sustained as to $310.82 in expenses. A separate order will be entered.
Dated this ______ day of September, 1992.
By the Court-
Attorney for Debtor
Sidney White Esq.
United States Trustee