The United States Law Week

Hawaii Court Criticizes Ninth Circuit Attorneys’ Fees Opinion

Jan. 16, 2020, 6:07 PM

The Ninth Circuit was wrong to imply that a district court can’t rely on a magistrate judge’s decision in determining attorneys’ rates, a Hawaii federal court said Wednesday.

“The Court feels it necessary to submit the following comments solely to emphasize the important role of magistrate judges in establishing a prevailing hourly rate in attorney’s fees disputes,” Judge Alan C. Kay said.

The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court’s calculation of attorneys’ fees in a civil rights case filed by Andrew Namiki Roberts against the City of Honolulu. The fee decision was based “essentially” on a magistrate judge’s conclusion, and...

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