Interim Fees: Hourly Expert Rates, Multiple Attorneys

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Culligan v. HHS, (Fed. Cl. Spec. Mstr. Mar. 31, 2016) (Hamilton-Fieldman, SM)

In this interim fee decision, the Special Master approved of two attorneys trying the case, where there were multiple experts and fact witnesses, the case was complex and Respondent had two attorneys at the hearing. The court held that $400 per hour ($200 for travel) for Petitioner’s expert was reasonable, and that it was reasonable to bring in an expert from abroad without a showing of special need.  The court did hold that the expert’s billing was not sufficiently detailed.

With regard to a second expert, who charged $500 per hour for most tasks, the court approved this rate.  The court did not approve a higher rate of $650 per hour for report preparation or a flat fee trial rate of $9500 per day, and those hours were compensated at $500.

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